This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Bath and North East Somerset PCN? Bath and North East Somerset Council has recently changed the act of legislation it uses for bus lane enforcement to rules in Section 78 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 which has changed some of its traffic rules and fines. This blog provides detailed instructions on recovering your impounded vehicle from the Bath council police’s custody.

How Can I Challenge A Bath and North East Somerset PCN?

You should choose to appeal your Bath PCN, if you are sure that you did not enter a bus lane during its operational hours or for a parking PCN, leave your vehicle parked without clearly showing a pay and display ticket. Overlooking the opportunity to challenge a PCN and just considering paying your fine is the wrong decision because Civil Enforcement Officers and CCTV’s can make mistakes.

A Bath PCN fine is just £70, further reduced to £35 if you make your PCN challenge within 14 days.So even if your appeal is unsuccessful you will only be paying £35. Even if the Bath and North East Somerset Council rejects your PCN appeal, you can challenge your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

The adjudicators at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal will impartially consider both sides of the case and also provide you with a second chance to respond to Bath Council’s charges.

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. 

What is a Penalty Charge Notice?

A Penalty Charge Notice is a fine or monetary penalty paid for driving violations. You will be given 28 days to respond to a Penalty Charge Notice. If you neither choose to pay the PCN nor decide to appeal it within these 28 days, you will be issued a charge certificate.

A charge certificate will increase the penalty amount by 50% of its original value. In the case of a Bath Council high level Parking PCN, Bus lane PCN and moving traffic PCN you now have to pay £105. Under the Charge Certificate you will have to pay £75 for a Bath Council lower level Parking PCN.

The charge certificate has to be paid within 14 days, a charge certificate cannot be appealed.

How much is the PCN fine for a PCN in Bath Council?

The Penalty Charge Notice for a Bath Parking PCN for a higher level traffic violation is set at £70. This can be further reduced to just £35, if you pay within 14 days.For a lower level traffic violation the Parking PCN fine is just £50. The PCNs in Bristol Council are generally categorised as Parking PCNs, Bus lane PCNs and moving traffic PCNs. 

The bus lane enforcement conventions being followed by Bath and North East Somerset Council have reverted to guidelines in Section 78 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (and the Civil Enforcement of Road Traffic Contraventions Regulations 2022) from 31st May 2022.

So the PCNs being handed out for breaching a bus lane during operational hours will now be worth £70 (if paid within 28 days). They were just worth £60, before May 2022.

A 50% discount applies if you pay your lower level Parking PCN within 21 days, which reduces the fine to £25. Similarly If you pay your Bus Lane PCN within 21 days in Bath Council, it’s fine reduces to £35 and a moving traffic PCN also costs you £35, if you pay the fine within 14 days.

You should pay your PCN fines within 28 days of receiving the Penalty Charge Notice.

How can I pay my Bath PCN fine?

You can pay your Bath Council PCN by post, by telephone or online here

If you want to pay online, you have to enter your PCN number and your vehicle registration number along with your payment card details. The Bath and North East Somerset Council website provides an online payments service for PCN fines. You need to click on “Pay Online” after opening this web page

 You can also pay on the Bath Council’s automated payments hotline by dialling : 0300 456 0632. Next, you will be required to provide your payment card details, PCN Number and vehicle registration number. This payment hotline is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Bath and North East Somerset Council also accepts PCN fine payments by post. You need to send a check, postal order or bank draft payable to “B&NES Council”. You can write down your PCN Number and Vehicle Registration Number on the back of your check or postal order.

Send your PCN fine payment to this address:

Parking Services,

Bath and North East Somerset Council,

PO Box 5197,

Bath,

BA1 0UF

Bath Council does not accept post dated checks. You should pay before the 10th day if you want your check payment to be credited to your account within 14 days.

What Can I Do If My Vehicle has been towed away?

If your vehicle has been towed away by Bath Council’s removal contractor (Hinton Rescue ) you need to call 101 to ask your local police about the matter. Your inquiry will be addressed by the Bath Council police and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will be provided further instructions on reclaiming your vehicle there.

Next you will be required to verify 2 kinds of ID documents such as a passport and a driving licence. You could also use 2 other combinations of documents such as your original birth certificate and your vehicle registration certificate. Your vehicle insurance certificate will also be verified. 

You will need to present these documents along with vehicle release charges of £109.8 (per week) and disposal charges of 50. This adds up to £160 and you will also have to pay storage charges of upto £12 per day for each day your vehicle was kept by the police in the vehicle pound.

Your vehicle release charges will double in the second week, and triple in the third so it is best to get it removed from there as soon as possible.

You will have to make the payment to release your vehicle from the designated vehicle pound in Bath Council, by visiting Bath police station in person with all the money as cash or as available balance on your payment card. The storage costs might not be the same as you have calculated beforehand and will depend on when your vehicle was impounded by the police. 

This is the address of the Bath Council police station:

One Stop Shop,

3-4 Manvers Street,

Bath,

BA1 1JQ

The police station is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Wednesday, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and 1:45pm to 7:00pm on Thursdays. The Bath Council police station also opens from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm on Fridays.

The Parking PCN fine (lower level) of £50 has to be paid the way a normal Bath PCN is paid which can be through the postal service, through telephone or online on the Bath Council website. This should preferably be done before you visit the police station to pay your vehicle release charges.

You will need to visit Bath police station in person to make your vehicle release payments in full, before the police officer on duty will inform you of the location of the vehicle pound where your vehicle is being kept. You must have the following documents in your possession at this time.

Two ID Documents such as a birth certificate and a driver’s licence (as proof that you are the registered keeper of the vehicle). As well as the insurance certificate for your vehicle and its vehicle registration certificate unless this has already been used as one of the 2 ID documents.

The amount of money you will need to unclamp your vehicle includes a £109.8 a week, release fee, a fixed disposal fee of £50 and storage charges of £12 per day. So for example if your vehicle was towed away by a parking company or the Bath police 14 days ago, you will need (£12×14) + (£109.8×2)+50 = £437.6 to get it released from the vehicle pound.

Your vehicle may have been towed away because it was parked in a position obstructing traffic or causing a risk to other vehicles. Other reasons for towing away a vehicle include a request from the police or for violating parking contraventions. 

You must remember to recover your vehicle from the Bath and North East Somerset Vehicle Pound within 7 days if you want to avoid paying extra vehicle release charges (of £109.8 per week). Your Parking PCN fine also gets reduced to £25, if you pay it early. If you leave it there for more than 14 days, your car might be auctioned off or even crushed.

Bath council does not handle vehicle removals itself so you will need to contact Hinton Rescue vehicle removal service. You can contact their customer services helpdesk on this number: 01225 448025

What is the procedure for appealing against a Bath and North East Somerset PCN?

You can appeal against a Bath and North East Somerset PCN online by using the BathCouncil’s online service. You need to enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number on this webpage Bath and North East Somerset Appeals Portal to start your PCN appeal.

The reasons for you disputing the PCN must be listed down on paper first and explained using the wording of relevant traffic regulations. These reasons need to be formally compiled into an appeals letter addressed to your council later, along with any material evidence if possible. Evidence including photos and videos can be attached online using the Bath Council’s online appeals form.

Another way of sending in your appeal is by postal service. You can write a PCN appeal to Bath and North East Somerset Council mentioning your PCN number and vehicle registration number. This letter along with any documents, pay or display tickets or photographs attached as proof needs to be sent to:

Parking Services,

Bath and North East Somerset Council,

PO Box 5197,

Bath,

BA1 0UF

What happens if I refuse to pay my Bath and North East Somerset PCN?

If you neither decide to pay your Bath and North East Somerset PCN nor decide to dispute the PCN with your council (within 28 days), you will be sent a charge certificate from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The charge certificate increases your PCN fine by 50%. You should pay the charge certificate within 14 days as it cannot be appealed and ignoring the charge certificate may result in the filing of a court order (for recovery of debts) against you by Bath Council.

When the charge certificate is also not paid within 14 days, you will receive a “Notice of Debt Registration” and a witness certificate from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The unpaid amount will be treated as a debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre at the Northampton County Court.

The court order for debt recovery enforces that the charge certificate amount must be paid in full within 21 days or it will have to use additional powers to recover the money from your possession.

Can I Dispute A Bath PCN with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if the council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Bath Council in your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. For this you can use the Traffic Penalty Tribunal’s website by clicking this link You will be required to enter your Vehicle Registration Number, the reference number from the “Notice of Rejection” letter from Bath Council and your PCN number for which the appeal was rejected.

This challenge to Bath and North East Somerset Council’s PCN appeal dismissal can only be made online. You can use the online service to challenge multiple “Notices of Rejection” simultaneously. You will require a valid email address to create an account on the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website. You have to attach a copy of your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” letter to your application by using the Traffic Penalty Tribunal’s online portal.

Scanned copies of evidence to strengthen your case such as a pay and display ticket or photographs of the scene can be added along with your explanation. The explanation of your case should be well worded and convince the tribunal of an error on the part of Bath and Northeast Somerset Council in adjudicating your case.

You will be able to contact the Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicator during the registration of your appeal. The result of your appeal will be communicated to you within 14-28 days of submission. If the adjudicator decides the case in your favour, the PCN will be cancelled by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Bath and North East Somerset PCN? If you are aware of bus lane entry violations, parking contraventions and make sure that you avoid these mistakes you should go ahead and challenge the PCN preferably within 14 days. You should pay your Bath PCN fine only if you genuinely committed a traffic contravention on the spot. 

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