Parking Charge Notices – How to Appeal
In our last article about Parking Charge Notices, we looked at the facts and how to avoid a windscreen laden with yellow plastic packets. In this post we will be looking at what to do if you are unlucky enough to receive one.
You can appeal a PCN in any situation where you feel you have not breached the terms and conditions (mentioned in our previous article) or if you feel the fine is unjust.
If you do feel like you have been unfairly charged, you should not pay. Once you have paid it is shown as you accepting the PCN and that you were in the wrong. If you have done this, you cannot appeal.
If you are able to, go back to the location of the PCN and obtain any evidence you can. Take photographs of signs, how your vehicle was parked and again, if you can, show evidence of what time you returned.
The first part of the process will require you to lodge the appeal against the operator or local authority and the quickest way to do this is online (there should be details of the address on the PCN, if not, check the operator or local authority’s website).
Most PCN’s offer you the option of paying a reduced fee within the first 14 days if you pay, if you lodge your appeal within the first 14 days, it will freeze the charge at this cost, rather than you having to pay the full, higher fee if you lose the appeal.
When appealing a charge, it is always worth checking if the operator is a member of the BPA or IPC (see our previous article). If they are, you can view their Code of Practice online and see if the operator has acted in accordance to this and see if their reason for issuing the PCN is appropriate.
If the operator is not a member of either the BPA or IPC, they will have their own rules. If you feel these rules are unjust, then you will need to take advice from Citizen’s Advice or obtain your own legal representation.
If you are unhappy with the final decision of the operator once reviewed, you can take your appeal further and submit an appeal to POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeal). POPLA however, will only consider appeals against a PCN issued by a member of the BPA.
If POPLA also rules in favour of the operator, you can finally submit your appeal to the Ombudsman Services. Unfortunately, with both of these options, the parking operator is well within their rights to withdraw the ability to pay the reduced fine rate if their PCN is upheld.
If you do reach this stage and have yet to win your appeal, it is advised to pay the fine as at this point, some operators may get quite aggressive with their debt collection. This, in some cases, can end up in a summons to the small claims court.
We hope these two article have given you some insight in the world of Parking Charge Notices and will help you avoid receiving one of those dreaded yellow packets!
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