Traffic Penalty Tribunal launches new, free, online, tool to appeal parking and bus lane Penalty Charge Notices.
Appeal tool being rolled-out in England and Wales
Drivers that receive a Council Penalty Charge Notice for parking or entering a bus lane can appeal faster thanks to a new, online, tool. This free service – which is run by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal – also saves the councils £200 per-case as staff spend less time assessing the strength of any appeals, and corresponding.
Brighton & Hove Council was first to sign-up and the scheme will now be rolled-out across England and Wales in the coming months (excluding London). The Tribunal also hears cases relating to the Dartford River Crossing and Durham City Peninsula Congestion Charge.
How to appeal Penalty Charge Notice
The starting point is to follow the appeals process of the relevant local authority. Once this has been exhausted in the council's favour, it issues a Notice of Rejection. It is at this point a case can be appealed via the Traffic Penalty Tribunal's new online tool.
The Tribunal - that only employs independent adjudicators - requires information such as the: Penalty Charge reference number, vehicle registration, contact details and what basis there is to appeal. For example, it said when parking in England grounds include:
- “the penalty exceeded the amount that applied in the circumstances;
- the contravention did not occur;
- the relevant traffic regulation order is invalid;
- there has been a procedural impropriety by the council;
- a penalty was sent by post because the council say someone prevented the civil enforcement officer from putting it on the vehicle or handing it to the driver – but, in fact, the officer was not prevented;
- you did not own the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred;
- the owner is a vehicle hire firm;
- the vehicle was taken without the owner’s consent;
- the penalty has already been paid;
- other compelling reasons”.
The Tribunal then considers the case and confirms its conclusion via e-mail. The fine is either cancelled or upheld. If the latter, the only further course of action is to proceed through the courts.
Online tool makes appeal process “more transparent”
Chief Adjudicator Caroline Sheppard explained: “Getting a parking ticket can be a frustrating experience, but our new portal makes the appeals process quicker, simpler and more transparent.” It puts paid to the adage that wheels of justice grind slowly, she claimed.
Ms Sheppard added: “The platform has already generated considerable interest from other areas of the UK judiciary because it is fast, efficient, accessible and will bring cost savings to local authorities as well as simplifying the process for those appealing.”