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Appeal a Penalty Charge Notice

If you think you have been issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) unjustly, or that there was a valid justification for parking as you did (i.e. mitigating circumstances), you are entitled to make an appeal (dispute parking fine).

See also

Appeal online

You can make a challenge against your PCN online:

If you appeal online, then you will be notified of the outcome to your appeal via the email address you provide. This will be sent from our automated email address, which is a:

Do not Reply email:

Please ensure you check your 'spam' folders if you have not received a response within 10 working days.

If you receive the following warning ”the penalty charge number does not match the vehicle registration number” please check and re-enter the details. Please ensure that you are entering the full PCN number.

If the problem still occurs please following the instructions below to appeal by post. We are unable to accept appeals via email.

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Appeal by post

You can make a challenge against your PCN also by post. In your appeal please;

  • Quote your PCN reference (see Penalty Charge Notice explained),
  • Vehicle registration number,
  • Name and address,
  • Detail why you feel that the PCN was incorrectly issued, or detail any mitigating circumstances that you would like to be considered,
  • Enclose copies of any supporting evidence such as your Blue Badge or pay and display ticket, photos of any signs/lines at the time of the contravention

Send your appeal to:

  • Adur & Worthing Councils,
    PO Box 3584,
    SN15 9EF

Please do not send payment: If you believe the penalty should not be paid and wish to challenge the penalty, please wait until you have received notification of our decision in relation to your challenge before sending payment.

Once we have received your challenge, we aim to respond within ten working days.

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Grounds for appeal

The grounds for a formal appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice are:

  • The alleged parking contravention did not occur
  • The penalty charge, (or release or storage charge), exceeded the relevant amount
  • The Traffic Regulation Order was invalid
  • You were not the owner of the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred
  • When the vehicle was parked it had been taken without your consent
  • You are a hire company and have supplied the hirer's name and address

In additional to the legal grounds for making formal appeals, the Councils' operating Civil Parking Enforcement are obliged to consider all mitigating circumstances presented to them. Guidelines have been established to assist Parking Services' staff in this process.

These guidelines provide a consistent framework for reaching decisions across the County, whilst allowing each individual circumstance to be considered on its own merits.

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The stages of appealing the PCN

There are three stages in challenging the issue of a PCN:

Stage One

Informal challenge to the Council within first 28 days:
  - appeal online
  - appeal va the PO Box Address

Any correspondence received within the initial 28 day period (as an informal appeal/Challenge) will be considered in line with policy.

If received in the first 14 days (during which the discounted rate applies), the Council will extend the discount period whilst they consider the Challenge and usually re-offer the discount period for a further 14 days from any letter of rejection being issued.

If the Challenge is accepted, the PCN will be cancelled and a letter sent to the motorist.

If more evidence or details are needed, a letter requesting the information within 14 days will be sent to the motorist (if no information is received within 14 days, the challenge will be rejected).

Stage Two

Formal Representation to the councils after 28 days and receipt of a Notice to Owner.

If the Challenge is rejected, the Council will send a letter clearly explaining the reason, later followed by a Notice to Owner (NTO) a few weeks later.

A formal Representation may then be made using the NTO and sent to the Council:
  - appeal online
  - appeal va the PO Box Address

If the NTO is not completed, the motorist loses any further right to dispute the PCN. If this is again rejected, a Notice of Rejection will be sent. If accepted, a Notice of Acceptance will be sent and the fine cancelled.

Stage Three

Formal Appeal to the Independent Parking Adjudicator following Notice of Rejection from the councils.

Following the receipt of a Notice of Rejection, the person then has the right to make an Appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, an independent body which has been set up to ensure that unresolved legal disputes between the motorist and the councils can be heard at a formal tribunal hearing. This body is independent of the councils.

If you are not satisfied by the outcome of a representation that you have made to the Council that issued the PCN, you are entitled to make an appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (for more information see Traffic Penalty Tribunal website).

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How long does the appeal process take?

On average, it will take one to two months depending on having all the required facts.

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Does the charge increase if I appeal?

If any appeal is received no later than 14 days beginning with the date on which the PCN was served, then it is put on hold until the informal representation is reviewed. If the appeal is unsuccessful you will be reoffered the discounted rate for a further 14 days from the service date of the letter of rejection.

If any appeal is made any time after 14 days from when the PCN was served but before a Charge Certificate is issued (days 15 to 55), then the charge will remain at the original amount (£50 or £70).

Once a Charge Certificate has been issued (on or shortly after 56 days from date of PCN issue if no payment has been received or no valid Challenge or Representation has been made), payment due will be increased by 50%.

Please quote your name, address, VRM and PCN number on all correspondence.

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Telephone advice

You can contact us on 0345 680 0189 (treated like a local number and charged at the same rate as an 01 or 02 number) for advice or queries.

Appeals cannot be made via telephone.

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Appeal statistics - annual reports

Our most recent appeal statistics can be downloaded here in our annual report documents:

Adur and Worthing are members of the Parking and Traffic Regulations outside London (PATROL) Adjudication Joint Committee. The Joint Committee publishes an Annual Statement of Accounts which is subject to External Audit and are available on the PATROL UK website.

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