Have you received a parking ticket?
WARNING as you will see from the above picture taken on Good Friday some councils such as Kensington and Chelsea enforce single yellow lines on bank holidays even though they don’t tell you. This is a great way for them to rake in a fortune.
In the days of the old traffic warden if you parked “illegally” for a few minutes the probability was that you would not get caught. However with the advent of “decriminalised parking enforcement” carried out by local councils, the likelihood of being caught is much greater. This started in London in 1994 and has now been introduced in towns and cities throughout the land. The Government thankfully banned the use of CCTV to catch most parking contraventions a few years back but the armies of parking attendants employed by local authorities ensure that often the most trivial of transgressions are punished.
It is essential that Motorists understand parking regulations and especially what a local authority is required to do with their procedures, signage, lineage, compliance with government guidance etc. Quite often errors made by local authorities mean that parking tickets are unenforceable.
Many tens of thousands of tickets are cancelled each year either by the councils themselves or the parking adjudicator.
In fact in many cases, at adjudication councils do not even bother to defend the case which we think is disgraceful. And where they do defend the motorists win in a high percentage of cases in the areas where we have checked.
The use of parking and moving traffic enforcement for revenue raising is illegal but some councils place enormous pressure on their parking attendants to issue tickets. Councils subcontract out their parking enforcement to private companies. These are companies who are in business to make money. Some of them have been known to give rewards such as Argos points for the most productive wardens. At one stage many years ago Westminster Council in London was offering televisions and even an electric car for the most productive wardens!
This website is our opportunity to help motorists “fight back”.
Much of the content of the website is free of charge but as you can imagine it has taken many many months to set up and it has cost many thousands of pounds. If you would like to contribute to our ongoing efforts in fighting for the motorist or show your gratitude for us helping to have your penalty charge notice cancelled then please join today. By joining and supporting us you will unlock further information to help you fight your penalty charge notice and you will also be contributing to our continuing efforts through campaigning and lobbying to have the current system overhauled. We cover the whole of England and Wales.
The current system is an absolute disgrace and we are working relentlessly to have it changed. We have exposed wrongdoing by councils in the media in the hope that the government will do something about it.
Quite a few years ago there was a detailed report prepared on parking enforcement in London after extensive fact finding and meetings. Lynne Featherstone was the Chair and the opening two paragraphs of her introduction are as follows.
“There is nothing like coming back to your car and finding an “unfair” parking ticket not to raise not only our blood pressure but also our innate sense of fair play but “what is fair?”.
In a city which has too many cars to move around or park without associated rules, we expect restrictions or penalties so long as their purpose is to alleviate traffic problems and not to raise revenue. Other extracts from their report are as follows.
“There is undoubtedly for many Londoners a suspicion that the nature of parking enforcement contracts, the number of tickets being issued as well as the instances of improperly issued tickets – whatever the magnitude – represent parking enforcement being used as revenue raising.”
The report also says, “Some members of the public now believe that the distinction between the need for maintaining safe traffic flow and regulating parking space has become blurred. Many view parking enforcement as an invisible tax.”
The report also confirms “Indeed there is evidence that many people will give up, having had their representations rejected when in fact they have well founded grounds for contesting liability”. We say this is because the threat of the loosing of a 50% discount discourages motorists to pay up even when they know they should not have been issued with a PCN.
Finally a previous Chief Parking Adjudicator , Martin Wood was previously quoted as saying “There is nothing to gain from a situation which allows the state to impose a penalty on a citizen without the citizen being fully aware of the reasons for that penalty and having confidence that the fine is being imposed fairly, efficiently and effectively”.
Many local authorities across the country have taken London’s lead and such draconian enforcement of the rules has been stated to have affected High streets up and down the country. .
Fact: Did you know that you usually have nothing to lose by writing into a local authority as soon as you receive a penalty charge notice (PCN). Nearly all local authorities will accept informal representations (also known as challenges) and hold the discount until 14 days after they reply to your letter if they do not accept your representations. This is not part of the formal appeals process. Many penalty charge notices do not state this. (this does not necessarily always apply to CCTV issued parking fines). Quite a high percentage are cancelled at this initial stage and you should not lose the discount by writing in within 14 days of issue. If you write in then any evidence you can include (such as photographs) that could persuade the local authority that you have a case will be very helpful and increase your chances of success.
Fact: Literally millions of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNS) are issued in London and around the country each year. – Yes millions!
Fact: The number of PCNs issued nationwide has increased substantially over the years as more and more local authorities take over decriminalised parking and moving traffic enforcement.
Fact: Some parking attendants and parking contractors have received incentives based on the number of tickets issued or are set quotas with severe financial penalties if they do not meet them. This practice is now being discouraged but parking attendants that we speak to tell us about the sheer pressure that they are under to issue as many tickets as possible.
Fact: Only around 1% of motorists issued with a PCN actually appeal to the Adjudicator! However around 60% of all appeals to the Adjudicator are successful.(this will change year on year) In many local authority areas the figure is much higher and some local authorities don’t even bother to contest cases, which is scandalous.
Fact: Many PCN’S are cancelled by local authorities upon an informal representation to them.
Fact: Many motorists simply pay because they do not know on what grounds they could actually appeal or worse still they just can’t be bothered. On this site you will find details of pretty much every known way to have your PCN cancelled.
Fact: Some PCNs are issued fraudulently, thousands are issued for silly technical breaches of regulations and thousands of motorists are confused by poor or non existent signage or lines.
Fact: Please don’t forget that you can cite compassionate grounds as a reason for asking for your PCN to be cancelled.