This blog answers the question “Can I Get Help With Appealing a PCN in Westminster City Council?”You can decide to appeal your PCN issued in WestMinster City Council if you feel that the fine has been issued in error. An appeal must be made against the fine within 28 days of getting the PCN.

Can I Get Help With Appealing a PCN in Westminster City Council?

This blog will help you out in your appeal against a PCN in Westminster City Council. You need to know the exact reasons why your PCN is being enforced in order to challenge it. For parking PCN’s where you have not parked your vehicle on a prohibited street during that time or if your vehicle was safely parked beyond 15 metres of a junction and you have been wrongly penalised you need to be aware of your right to challenge the traffic notice. 

If you are quite sure that you were not driving with full concentration that day or you might have made such a blunder as making a banned turn because you were getting late for work, it is better to just pay the PCN fine as soon as you can. It is also preferable to appeal online instead of by post as postal services are being hit by Covid related delays and your appeals process could get slow and frustrating.

In many cases, PCNs are not enforceable and you may be able to win your case and avoid having to pay your fine.

You could begin the process by speaking to an online solicitor for as little as £5. 

How Can I Pay My Westminster City Council PCN?

You can pay your Westminster Council PCN online, from your telephone or by using the postal service. If you choose to pay by mail you can attach a check or postal order (of the relevant amount) payable to “City of Westminster” and send it to this address:

Parking Services,

City of Westminster,

PO Box 733,

Redhill RH1 9FN 

You need to mention your PCN number and your vehicle registration number in the letter as well or on the back of the check or postal order.

The second option for paying your Westminster Council PCN is by the automated payments system for the City of Westminster. You need to dial the following number : 020 7823 4567. You need to enter your payment card details which are its debit or credit card number and your card’s billing address. You will also be needed to mention your PCN number and vehicle registration number.

The third method for paying your PCN where you just have to type in your PCN number and payment card details is the online method. The Westminster City Council website offers this service at https://payments-parkright.westminster.gov.uk/

What is a Penalty Charge Notice?

A Penalty Charge Notice is a fine or monetary penalty for driving offences. A PCN can be issued for any legal traffic contravention, such as a parking contravention, moving traffic contravention or bus lane violation.

The charges of your PCN will also vary depending on whether it has been issued for a higher level violation or for a lower level violation. A PCN may also be served for refusing to pay road charges.

A PCN may be issued by a Civil Enforcement Officer or by CCTV. You will be given a period of 28 days to respond to a Penalty Charge Notice.

 If you fail to pay the fine or to appeal it, you will be sent a charge certificate which increases the PCN fine by 50% of its original value.

How can I dispute a Westminster City Council PCN?

You can dispute a Westminster City Council PCN on the following grounds:

  • Your vehicle was not actually parked on the wrong street at the wrong time and it was wrongly identified as a restricted street for parking vehicles by the CEO or CCTV.
  • Your vehicle was parked at a distance of greater than 15 metres from the nearest junction. 
  • Your vehicle was brought in and parked into the same parking bay after the end of the no return time limit. This may be due to an error in checking the time and date of your vehicle’s reentry into the parking area.
  • You had not exceeded your vehicle parking permit mentioned parking time allocation and actually had another 20 minutes of parking permission remaining.
  •  You had actually managed to move your vehicle away from the pedestrian crossing and did not stop your car on it. So you have been wrongly charged with blocking the pedestrian crossing with your vehicle
  • You did not enter a bus lane during its operational hours and the CCTV has wrongly charged you with the PCN.

Why do the full concessions granted under the National Blue Badge Scheme not apply to parking in Westminster City Council?

The complete set of concessions granted under the National Blue Badge Scheme does not apply to parking in Westminster City Council due to a high level of pressure on the parking spaces available. This shortage of supply of parking space means that Blue Badge holders are not allowed to park in or on:

  • Footpaths
  • Suspended parking bays
  • Single or Double yellow line markings
  • Pay and display parking areas without paying for the ticket
  • Especially reserved parking zones such as hospital parking bays
  • Taxi stands or Bicycle lanes

On what public holidays do Sunday controls apply to Resident Parking areas?

Sunday controls apply to resident parking areas on the following public holidays:

  • Good Friday (15th April 2022)
  • Easter Sunday (17th April 2022)
  • Easter Monday (18th April 2022)
  • Early May Bank Holiday (Monday 2nd May 2022)
  • Spring Bank Holiday (Thursday 2nd June 2022)
  • Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday (Friday 3rd June 2022
  • Summer Bank Holiday (Monday 29th August 2022)
  • Boxing Day (Monday 26th December 2022)
  • Christmas Day Bank Holiday (27th December 2022)
  • New Years Day (Sunday 1st January 2023)
  • New Years Day Bank Holiday (Monday 2nd January 2023)

How important is the formal representation I make to the Westminster City Council?

The formal representation made to the Westminster City Council on the space for “representations” in the Notice to Owner certificate can make a strong impression on your local council officer. The note should be written emphasising the circumstances outside your control at the time. 

This representation needs to report any attempts you made to try to avoid making the traffic contravention.

Westminster City Council considers actions taken by vehicle owners to prevent their driving violation as genuine efforts to avoid being given the PCN. Such evidence written in your representation can easily make the appeal successful

How much is the PCN fine for a Westminster City Council PCN?

The PCN fine for a serious violation of traffic rules is set at £130 for Westminster City Council. The PCN fine for a low level traffic violation is set at £80 for Westminster City Council. The PCN fine for a moving traffic contravention in Westminster City Council is set at £130.

There is a 50% discount applicable to these fine charges subject to certain conditions. If you pay a higher level traffic violation PCN (such as a bus lane PCN) within 14 days, you will just be paying £65, and if you pay a lower level traffic violation PCN within 21 days, you will have to pay £40. Also if you pay a moving traffic violation PCN within 14 days, you will be paying £65 only.

On the other hand if you forget to pay your PCN fine by the end of 28 days the charges will increase to £195 (for a higher level PCN) and £120 (for a lower level PCN). 

Does the Marston Group work on behalf of the Westminster City Council?

Yes, the Marston Group works on behalf of the Westminster City Council as a Debt Management and Bailiff Company. The Marston Group helps the council in recovery of its debts from “registered keepers” who have not paid their PCN fines.

The order for recovery following the issuing of the charge certificate initiates the services of the Marston Group. In case you fail to pay or to file a witness statement, the Westminster City Council will make an application to the county court for a “Warrant of Execution” 

Now Marston Group will send a letter to you saying that unless a complete payment is made in the final settlement it will appoint a bailiff to recover the amount from you.

What other options am I left with if I am handed a charge certificate from TfL?

The only option that you have left after receiving your charge certificate for rejection of your appeal by Westminster City Council is to file an appeal with the London Tribunals (within 21 days). For this you need to fill in the form provided to you along with the charge certificate or “Notice of Rejection” and mail it to this address along with any extra evidence to support your case:

London Tribunals,

PO Box 10598,

Nottingham,

N6G 6DR

London Tribunals will inform both parties of the hearing date. If the Westminster City Council chooses to contest your appeal, it will provide you with a copy of its application along with evidence sent by it to the London Tribunals (to clarify its viewpoint) .

In case an arbitrator at London Tribunals decides the case in your favour Westminster City Council will promptly cancel your PCN.

What will happen if I don’t pay my Westminster City Council PCN within the 28 day limit?

If you fail to pay your Westminster City Council PCN within the 28 day limit you will be issued a charge certificate from Transport for London. A charge certificate will increase your PCN fine by 50%.

 If this charge certificate is not paid within 14 days, you will receive a “Notice of Debt Registration” and a witness certificate from TfL. The unpaid amount of the charge certificate will be treated as a debt with your local Traffic Enforcement Centre. The court order enforces that the charge certificate amount must be paid in full within the next 21 days.

Beyond this the court will use its legal powers to recover the debt from your possession.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “Can I Get Help With Appealing a PCN in Westminster Council?” You can choose to pay your PCN within 28 days if you feel that you don’t have any substantial grounds for an appeal. If you do decide to appeal the Penalty Charge Notice you should prepare evidence to support your case which may be as simple as “the vehicle number mentioned on the PCN is not yours anymore”.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Citations:

Civil Enforcement of Road Traffic Contraventions Regulations 2022

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