The process by which one of our adjudicators decides an appeal.
An independent solicitor or barrister – unconnected with any local authorities and whose appointment is sanctioned by the Lord Chancellor. Appointed to consider appeals against Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).
The act of referring a dispute concerning a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) – and possibly the towing or clamping of a vehicle – to an independent adjudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT). An appeal may only be made after the local authority that issued the PCN has rejected formal representations, and appeals may only made on specified statutory grounds.
The motorist or vehicle owner who receives a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and appeals to us.
APPROVED DEVICE (INCLUDING CAMERAS)
A device, such as a camera or a handheld computer/printer, which falls within any of the applications of parking or bus-lane legislation.
The notice issued by a Civil Enforcement Officer to indicate that a vehicle already issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is to be towed away or clamped.
BAILIFF (CIVIL ENFORCEMENT AGENT)
A representative authorised by the County Court to recover unpaid penalties.
A separate lane on a roadway, separated by a thick white line and signed as a bus lane with hours of operation – or at any time – during which it may not be entered by other vehicles, with the exception of taxis and motorcycles.
A regulation introduced by a local authority, empowered by regulations arising from Acts of Parliament. In the context of parking and moving-traffic enforcement, these are called Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs).
CHALLENGE - POST NOTICE TO OWNER (FORMAL CHALLENGE)
The formal arguments made to challenge a penalty charge after receipt of a Notice to Owner (NtO) following the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
CHALLENGE - PRE NOTICE TO OWNER
An informal appeal to a local authority by a motorist against the issue of a parking or bus lane Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
A notice issued to the vehicle owner / registered keeper who has received a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and subsequent Notice to Owner (NtO), but has not paid or appealed within the statutory time limits. A Charge Certificate increases the full penalty charge by 50% and requires payment in 14 days from its service, if registration of the debt is to be avoided.
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY
A local authority that is empowered to operate civil enforcement of parking and moving-traffic (bus lane) regulations.
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT AGENT (BAILIFF)
A representative authorised by the County Court to recover unpaid penalties.
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
A uniformed officer employed by – or on behalf of – a local authority to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for parking contraventions under a civil enforcement scheme. May be referred to as a CEO.
CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM
The system of redress that views offences as non-criminal. Processed through Magistrates’ Courts and County Courts.
The act of clamping a vehicle.
Reasons beyond the legal grounds for cancelling a penalty imposed by a local authority on a motorist for an alleged parking or moving-traffic (bus lane) contravention.
An amount charged for certain vehicles to use certain roads at certain times.
A failure by a motorist to comply with parking regulations that have been de-criminalised, or a provision relating to the use of an area of road reserved for a bus lane.
A two-digit number allocated to a parking contravention and used on a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
CONTROLLED PARKING ZONE (CPZ)
An area where parking is restricted by Traffic Regulation Orders (Traffic Management Orders in London) – or by-laws – in accordance with signs placed on all vehicular entry points to the area (except in designated parking bays, or where otherwise signed).
The independent adjudicator has powers to award costs against either party to an appeal. The grounds for doing so are very few and such awards are extremely rare. Costs may be awarded if, in the opinion of the adjudicator, either party has behaved in a “frivolous, vexatious or wholly unreasonable” fashion.
The court where a debt is registered following non-payment of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) 14 days after the service of a Charge Certificate. Such debts are registered at the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) at Northampton County Court.
Crossing of the River Thames, connecting Dartford in the south to Thurrock in the north, via two road tunnels and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. A charge is payable to use the crossing.
The process of recording a parking or bus lane debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) at the County Court, no fewer than 14 days after the service of a Charge Certificate, and where the penalty charge due has not been paid. The registration of debt is an automated process and there is no right of personal representation during this process.
DESIGNATED PARKING BAYS
Bays designated by means of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) / Traffic Management Order (TMO) for specified types of parking (e.g. free parking, meter parking, resident permit- or disabled badge-holder parking). These are usually denoted by white boxes on the carriageway but may be denoted by red boxes (e.g. on Priority [Red] Routes in London).
The power of a local authority to cancel a parking or moving-traffic (bus lane) penalty, if it deems fit.
A reduction in the penalty charge due if a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is paid 14 days from the date of issue. The discount rate is 50% for both parking and bus-lane contraventions.
Any relevant item or piece of information that may be used to prove a point of law or fact.
It is a criminal offence to “knowingly and wilfully” make an untrue statement in connection with an appeal to the adjudicator and at other stages of enforcement. Anyone committing such an offence risks conviction and a fine.
The formal arguments a motorist uses to challenge a penalty charge after receiving a Notice to Owner (NtO) or Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) through the post.
GROUNDS FOR APPEAL
The Road Traffic Act 1991, Transport Act 2000 and Traffic Management Act 2004 detail the legal grounds on which anyone who receives a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) may make representations. These are the same grounds on which an adjudicator may consider an appeal against a local authority’s rejection of these initial representations.
Vehicles are normally hired under a contract that conforms with the Road Traffic (Owner Liability) Regulations 2000. This transfers liability for any Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) – and other contraventions or offences – from the hire company, as the vehicle’s owner, to the vehicle’s hirer.
LITTERING FROM VEHICLES
A number of councils (known as litter authorities) have powers to issue Penalty Notices (PNs) to the keepers of vehicles who allow litter to be thrown from their vehicles.
A specific bay, bounded by white markings (red on Priority [Red] Routes in London) and signed to permit loading and unloading by goods vehicles. Waiting and parking is not permitted within these bays.
LONDON TRIBUNALS (FORMERLY PATAS)
London Tribunals supports the Environment and Traffic Adjudicators and the Road User Charging Adjudicators, which are the independent tribunals that consider appeals against Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued by the London Local Authorities and Transport for London.
A criminal court in which a board of Justices of the Peace consider offences prosecuted by the police.
NOTICE OF REGISTRATION OF DEBT
A notice stating that a debt has been registered. See Debt Registration.
NOTICE OF REJECTION OF REPRESENTATIONS (NOR)
A letter issued by a local authority to a motorist following their formal representations against a Notice to Owner (NtO) in respect of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), indicating that the representations have been rejected.
NOTICE TO OWNER (NtO)
A statutory notice served by the local authority on the individual believed by them to be the owner of a vehicle that has been issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), in respect of a contravention that remains unpaid after the maximum 28 days. The NtO requires the owner either to: i) make payment of the full penalty charge within 28 days, or ii) make formal representations against liability for the charge on one of the statutory grounds allowed; again, within 28 days.
ORDER FOR RECOVERY
A statutory notice issued to the motorist that an unpaid penalty charge has been registered as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) at the County Court.
The act of leaving a vehicle stationary. In a local authority area, regulations (by-laws) regulate restricted parking with signs and lines (yellow lines) and permitted parking with signs and lines (white lines indicating parking bays).
An individual bay within a parking place, provided for leaving a vehicle on payment or display of a permit or voucher, as required.
PARKING CHARGE NOTICE
A Parking Charge Notice would be issued by a private company. See Private Parking.
PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE (PCN)
A notice issued by a local authority to a motorist appearing to be in charge of a vehicle that was believed to be contravening a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) of the local authority. A Penalty Charge Notice must contain certain information, including a description of the contravention alleged to have occurred.
A motorist can use these as supporting evidence in both informal challenges and formal representations (see Formal Representations) to a local authority after receiving a Notice to Owner (NtO), or in an appeal to us after receiving a Notice of Rejection of Representations. A motorist should take the photos in a way that clearly positions their vehicle at the time of the alleged contravention and shows its registration number plate.
The tribunal’s online appeals portal, which allows cases to be managed, evidence to be submitted, hearings to be arranged and for a decision to be received online.
Parking controlled by private companies rather than by local authorities.
PRIVATE PARKING APPEALS
Failure by a local authority to follow the proper procedure laid down in law for issuing a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or an Notice to Owner (NtO).
An opinion delivered to a local authority by an independent adjudicator, suggesting that a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or a Notice to Owner (NtO) be cancelled, even though none of the statutory grounds for an appeal apply.
The person or organisation recorded at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) as being the keeper of a vehicle. Under the concept of ‘owner liability’, local authorities may assume that the registered keeper is also the owner of the vehicle for the purposes of enforcement, unless there is clear evidence to the contrary or this presumption is rebutted by the registered keeper.
Statutory Instruments, arising from an Act of Parliament, by which statute law is put into practice. On the basis of these, local authorities make their own Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) / by-laws, which are called regulations, with a small ‘r’.
In an appeal case: the local authority or Highways Agency.
Either party to an appeal can apply for a review of an adjudicator’s decision. However, the grounds on which such an application may be made are extremely few.
SIGNS AND LINES
The way in which parking and moving-traffic (bus lane) regulations are indicated and communicated by local authorities to the motorist.
A legal statement from a motorist in response to an Order for Recovery, to the effect that an earlier stage in the enforcement process has not been complied with. A valid statutory declaration cancels the Charge Certificate and the associated 50% increase in the penalty charge and causes enforcement to revert to the Notice to Owner (NtO) or appeal stage. It is a criminal offence to knowingly and wilfully make a false Statutory Declaration.
A telephone hearing involves the parties and the adjudicator joining together in a telephone conference call, initiated by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT), during which the adjudicator conducts the hearing of the appeal. This allows the parties to participate in a hearing from a location convenient to them rather than having to attend a personal hearing venue.
TICKETS (PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE or PAY-AND-DISPLAY VOUCHER)
The common name for a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) issued by a Civil Enforcement Officer (or parking attendant) for a contravention; or for a fixed penalty charge issued by a police officer or police traffic warden for a criminal offence. Note: ‘Ticket’ is also used by local authorities for the coupons / vouchers issued in car parks or on-street parking bays for display in a parked vehicle.
TOWING AWAY (REMOVAL)
The act of removing a vehicle from where it is parked, in contravention of a regulation, to a vehicle pound; from which, it can be released only on payment of the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), as well as the removal and storage charge / fee.
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT CENTRE (TEC)
Situated currently at the County Court in Northampton, this is the centre where unpaid penalty charges are registered as debts at the County Court. This is an automated process, not requiring or allowing an appearance by any party.
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT ACT 2004 (TMA 2004)
Act of Parliament that repealed the Road Traffic Act (RTA) 1991 and replaced it with new laws and regulations giving civil-enforcement authority councils some additional powers to control parking. The associated regulations came into force on 31 March 2008.
TRAFFIC PENALTY TRIBUNAL
The Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) comprises individually appointed independent adjudicators and a small team of administrative staff who work on their behalf.
Adjudicators consider appeals in relation to Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued by councils in England (outside London) and Wales for parking, bus-lane and moving-traffic contraventions (e.g. box junctions and no right turns).
Appeals are also considered in relation to PCNs issued by the Secretary of State for Transport for failing to pay a charge at the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing, by Durham County Council at the Durham congestion charging zone and by Halton Borough Council at the Mersey Gateway Bridge Crossings.
TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER (TRO)
An official order made by a local authority under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, which details the nature and extent of parking controls within the local authority’s area. It is a contravention of these controls as detailed in a Traffic Regulation Order that may give rise to the issuing of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). The same orders are frequently known as Traffic Management Orders (TMOs) within London.
TRANSPORT ACT 2000
The act of parliament that enables local authorities to enforce bus lane contraventions as civil contraventions, where a Special Parking Area (SPA) or Permitted Parking Area (PPA) order is in force.
See LITTERING FROM VEHICLES
VEHICLE REGISTRATION MARK (VRM)
A vehicle’s number plate.
WARRANT OF EXECUTION
A county court’s authority to enforce an unpaid debt after debt registration (see Debt Registration). The warrant must be held by a certificated bailiff when trying to recover the debt. The procedure is different in Scotland.
A signed written document completed by a third party to attest to the facts surrounding the parking of a vehicle, which can be used by a motorist in support of their challenge of / appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) / Notice To Owner (NtO).
A witness statement is also a legal statement from a motorist in response to a County Court Order for Recovery, to the effect that an earlier stage in the enforcement process had not been complied with. A valid witness statement cancels any Charge Certificate and the associated 50% increase in the penalty charge, causing enforcement to revert to the Notice to Owner (NtO) or appeal stage. It is a criminal offence to make a false witness statement.