Letter to your local authority

Suggested text of a letter that you could send to a local authority

This letter is relevant if you have received a PCN for a parking contravention issued by footage from a cctv camera. Since 2015 CCTV cameras can only be used for parking and waiting enforcement in a very few circumstances such as on zig zag lines.

You must decide whether the template is appropriate for your circumstances. No guarantees are offered and if you lose at adjudication then you will have lost your discount.

Please let us know how you get on. Also you may wish to add other sections to your letter. For example in May 2011 in Westminster council area in London an adjudicator found against them on the basis that the recorded frames were not sequentially numbered as required by Law. See our cctv section and cctv adjudicaotor’s decisions for more details.

Parking Services


Dear Sir/ Madam

Re: Penalty Charge Notice
I am in receipt of the above which you have sent by post following the capture of my vehicle by a hidden CCTV camera.

Firstly I should not have received a penalty charge notice issued by a CCTV camera at this location because you have issued it contrary to the statutory guidance issued to all local authorities earlier this year on the use of CCTV. This is guidance to which local authorities “MUST” have regard to and states as follows. –

At clause 1.4 “wording in this document in bold and comic sans ms typefaceis part of the secretary of state for transport’s guidance (often referred to as the statutory guidance) whichis published under section 87 of the traffic management act 2004 section 87 of the TMA stipulates that local authorities must have regard to the information contained in that guidance,which is available as a separate document.

At clause 8.78 “The secretary of State recommends that approved devices [CCTV ENFORCEMENT] are only used where enforcement is difficult or sensitive AND CEO enforcement is not practical”,

At clause 13.17 the general guidance gives an example of where CCTV enforcement may now be used. It states “It has, in the past, been considered inappropriate for local authorities to use their enforcement powers on high speed roads (including trunk roads) because of the dangers to CEO’S. However, the power given in the TMA [traffic management act] to use approved devices, which are best suited for use in situations such as on high speed roads where stopping and parking are banned, makes local authority enforcement on these roads more practical. Some authorities may now wish to include some high speed roads in their designation orders”.

It is not impractical to use CEO enforcement in ???? road/street because it is not a trunk road, stopping is not banned, it is not a dual carriageway with no pavements so there is no danger to CEO’s. It is a road with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour and a road where CEO enforcement has been used for many years. In fact CEO enforcement continues to be used in ???? road/street No penalty charge notice should therefore have been issued to me.

I should also point out the Adjudicator’s decision in the case of Sainsbury’s VS Camden Council (case number 211001669A) where the adjudicator allowed the appeal as the council had not demonstrated that it had had regard to the statutory guidance and why they thought enforcement by an approved device was appropriate.

Secondly, and without prejudice to the above, I should not have been issued with a penalty charge notice issued by a CCTV camera because you have not installed the legally required compliant signage warning of such enforcement. I should point out that. –

The code of practice issued by the information commissioner’s office states “You must let people know that they are in an area where CCTV surveillance is being carried out. The most effective way of doing this is by using prominently placed signs at the entrance to the CCTV zone and reinforcing this with further signs inside the area”.  It also states“Clear and prominent signs are particularly important where the cameras themselves are very discreet, or in locations where people might not expect to be under surveillance. As a general rule, signs should be more prominent and frequent where it would otherwise be less obvious to people that they are on CCTV”

I have seen specific written confirmation from the information commissioner’s office which confirms that “compliant signage is compulsory”  [a legal obligation].

Also at clause 8.79 of the statutory guidance issued under the 2004 TMA it states “The primary objective of any camera enforcement system is to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the road network by deterring motorists from breaking road traffic restrictions and detecting those that do. To do this, the system needs to be well publicised and indicated with lawful traffic signs”.

You have no signs at the location where you captured my vehicle warning of CCTV enforcement.
It makes a mockery of the Statutory guidance which local authorities must have regard to and the code of practice issued by the information commissioners office if councils like ????? simply ignore it. It is all very well to penalise a motorist for any minor transgression of your strict rules but you should also abide by the rules for CCTV enforcement.

I would hope that under these specific circumstances that you will on this occasion cancel the penalty charge notice.