This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Bedford PCN?” You can prepare for writing down a formal representation to your Bedford PCN by studying the relevant contravention code and its acceptable mitigating circumstances. This blog contains detailed instructions on how you can recover your impounded vehicle from the custody of the Bedfordshire Police.

How Can I Challenge A Bedford PCN?

You can simply challenge a Bedford PCN by composing a PCN appeal that mentions your mitigating circumstances such as a medical emergency or a PCN appeal suggesting that the traffic contravention never occurred. These grounds for your appeal need to be carefully thought over and matched with available evidence material before being mentioned in your formal representation. You should not state reasons in your challenge which cannot be proven by the evidence in your possession.

It is advisable to take 3 or 4 days to carefully select these grounds for your appeal by studying the relevant contravention code and by gradually recalling the events which took place at the scene of the traffic violation. You can challenge a Bedford PCN by writing a formal representation to your Penalty Charge Notice on the Notice To Owner document and sending it in by mail along with attached evidence material such as photographs of the scene or a paid parking permit.

 Before writing down your PCN challenge, you should be aware of the exact restrictions mentioned in the contravention code on your PCN. Once you have understood the grounds on which you can contest the PCN, you can proceed to mention these grounds and attach supporting evidence to back your formal representation.

You should also create a habit of memorising the traffic contravention codes enforced at different parking zones, road junctions, and bus lanes along your daily route by matching them with their location.

It is essential that you formulate a strong appeals case before submitting your formal representation to the Bedford Borough Council so that you don’t end up with a Notice of Rejection of Representations from the council. The “Notice of Rejection” implies that your appeal has been refused.

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 monetary penalty issued to drivers or motorists for committing certain traffic contraventions including violating Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic restrictions. A PCN is issued for failing to follow Parking zone, bus lane enforcement, and moving traffic restrictions mentioned in the Road Traffic Act 1984 and the Traffic Management Act 2004.

A penalty charge notice can be handed to you by a Civil Enforcement Officer or dispatched to your (DVLA) residential address by post. Traffic contraventions are observed by CCTV cameras and Civil Enforcement Officers before a violation is detected and the vehicle is charged with a PCN.

A PCN might also be issued for failing to pay road charges on time. You have 28 days to decide how and if you would like to challenge your Penalty Charge Notice. After 28 days if you have neither paid nor challenged your PCN, you will be sent a charge certificate from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

If you don’t challenge a PCN, you should pay the fine within 28 days, otherwise its amount will increase by 50%. A £70 PCN will be worth £105 if you pay it in the 14 days after receiving your charge certificate.

What is the procedure for appealing against a Bedford PCN?

You need to begin your Bedford PCN challenge by recalling the events which led to your traffic violation and by listing down any mitigating circumstances which affected your actions that day. Only events and mitigating circumstances which can be explained by using photos or video evidence or other documents such as medical certificates (already in your possession) should be considered as grounds for an appeal.

Some details might occur to you a day or two after the incident as the information sinks in to reveal minute details. It is advisable to allow yourself up to 4 days for carefully reviewing all the facts regarding your Parking, Bus Lane, or moving traffic contravention. If you are sure that the relevant contravention code was never breached, you can simply attach photo or video evidence or an (authentic) written statement from a bystander present at the scene with your Bedford PCN challenge.

You need to visit the Bedford Borough council website to submit a formal representation to your PCN. You need to open this webpage to enter your PCN Number and Vehicle Registration Number. Once these details have been correctly typed on you can click on “Search” to view your PCN details. This payments and appeals service has the same account so you must be careful not to click on the PCN payment option after you log in.

Any CCTV evidence from the Bedford Borough Council can be viewed first along with other details regarding your traffic violation. After this, you can type in your formal representation and upload evidence documents.

It is essential to upload authentic evidence material with your PCN challenge to describe your mitigating circumstances to the Bedford Borough Council and for explaining your point of view of the events which took place on the traffic violation scene. The text of your appeal must state the relevant contravention code on your Bedford PCN and explain how you attempted to avoid the error (supported by photos or video footage).

Your mitigating circumstances can help to explain why you were unable to for instance breach a restricted zone or failed to follow a no entry sign or made a banned turn. Video footage or photographs can show your efforts to evade the traffic violation, which demonstrates to the Bedford Borough Council that you were well aware of the Parking Bus Lane or Moving traffic restriction in place.

Once you have proofread your appeal to eliminate any reasons for your challenge which might convey a disregard for traffic contravention codes enforced in Bedford Borough council (by mixing up the contraventions) or reasons which involve forgetfulness to justify your actions, you can submit the formal representation

Another way to send in your Bedford PCN challenge is by mail. You can write down a formal representation on paper and attach evidence documents or photographs to the form by using a stapler or paper clip. Your letter should mention your PCN number, date of issue of the PCN, your vehicle registration number, and personal details. 

You should remember to still view your PCN Details online (by entering your PCN number and vehicle registration number) before writing your Bedford PCN appeal. Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Bedford Parking Services,

PO Box 646,

Bedford,

MK40 1YW

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

If your vehicle has been towed away from the Bedford Borough Council you need to call 101 to ask the Bedfordshire Police about the matter. If your vehicle was towed away for violating your driving license rules, you should have received a form 3078 (seizure notice) by post. Your inquiry will be addressed by the Bedfordshire police staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit the Bedfordshire Police Headquarters to get it released.

Next, you will be required to verify 2 kinds of ID documents such as a passport and a driving licence at the vehicle pound. You could also use 2 other combinations of documents such as your original birth certificate and your vehicle registration certificate. You should also have the insurance certificate for your vehicle and your V5C vehicle registration certificate (with you) unless this has already been used as one of the 2 ID documents.

Vehicles are seized by the Bedfordshire Police under Section 165 A or the Road Traffic Act 1988 due to a violation of your driving license rules. You must remember to visit the vehicle pound within 7 days of the date mentioned on your form 3078. The amount of money you will need to unclamp your vehicle includes a £200 release fee and storage charges of £20 per day. So for example if your vehicle was towed away by a parking company 3 days ago, you will need (£20×3) + £200 = £260 to get it released from the vehicle pound. These vehicle release fees and storage charges are set under The Road Traffic Act 1998 (Retention and Disposal of Seized Motor Vehicles).

You should pay your Bedford Borough Council Parking PCN online before collecting the vehicle from the pound at Bedfordshire Police Headquarters. But even if you just have £200 or £260 with you (for leaving your vehicle in the pound for up to 3 days), you can still pay the amount at the Bedfordshire Police Headquarters and claim your vehicle. It is more important to collect your vehicle from the Bedfordshire Police vehicle pound than to pay your PCN fine because storage fees of £20 are being added every day and your vehicle will no longer be in the vehicle pound after 14 days.

Your vehicle pound charges can vary so it is best to get it removed from there as soon as possible. For each week your vehicle is left in the pound you will have to pay £140 extra storage charges.

Once you contact the Bedfordshire Police by dialling 101 and tell them your vehicle registration number you will be guided to the Bedfordshire Police Headquarters for recovering your impounded vehicle.

You will have to make the payment to release your vehicle from the Bedfordshire Police Headquarters by visiting the location in person with at least £200 in cash or available as credit on your payment card. The Bedfordshire Police accepts Visa Card, Master Card, Maestro Card, and Solo Card for the payment of vehicle release and storage charges.

The Bedfordshire Police Headquarters is located at this address :

Woburn Road,

Kempston,

Bedford MK 43 9AX,

You can visit the Bedfordshire Police Headquarters at any time between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm from Monday to Friday. The Bedfordshire Police HQ is closed on weekends. Staff from the Bedfordshire police will be available at the pound to address your queries and for receiving the vehicle release charges.

You should have the 2 ID Documents, a copy of form 3078, your vehicle’s MOT certificate, and your vehicle registration certificate (if this is not your ID document).  After all these documents have been verified by the Bedfordshire Police staff, your vehicle seizure notice will be stamped to authorise the release of the vehicle.

.You must remember to recover your vehicle within 7 days from the Bedfordshire Police HQ. If you leave it there for more than 14 days the car might be scrapped or recycled by the Bedfordshire Police.

How can I pay my Bedford PCN fine?

You should be aware of the fact that you can only pay your Bedford PCN fine online. The PCN fine can be paid online on the Bedford Borough Council’s official website (using Visa Card, Master Card, Direct Debit, or Maestro Card) This payment method saves time and is also more precise as your details are entered directly into an electronic database.

If you were looking for a postal order payment option or a choice for paying your PCN fine via the council’s telephone hotline, you might be disappointed to learn that these options are unavailable in Bedford Borough Council. 

You need to enter your vehicle registration number and PCN number after opening this webpage to initiate the PCN fine payment online. After clicking “Search” you will be shown your Penalty Charge Notice information and in the next window, you can enter your payment card details. You must remember to wait for 24 hours after your PCN is issued before attempting to pay it.

You must pay your PCN fine within 28 days. You should pay before 14 days if you don’t want to miss out on the 50% early payment discount (which reduces Parking PCNs to £35 or £25 and Moving Traffic PCNs to £35). If you pay your Bedford Bus Lane PCN within 21 days, you will have to pay just £35.

How much is the PCN fine for each of the 3 kinds of PCNs served in Bedford Borough Council?

A Parking PCN in Bedford Borough Council is served for violating higher or lower-level parking restrictions. You have to pay £70 for committing a higher level parking contravention and £50 for a lower level parking contravention. If you pay the parking fine within 14 days, you will just be paying £35 or £25 as a 50% discount is applicable to your payment.

For failing to comply with a bus lane contravention code or a moving traffic restriction in Bedford Borough Council, you will be charged a £70 Penalty Charge Notice. The 50% early payment discount reduces both these types of PCN fines to £35 if a bus lane PCN is paid within 21 days and a moving traffic PCN is paid within 14 days

What will happen if I don’t pay my Bedford PCN within the 28-day limit?

You should not ignore traffic contraventions or the Penalty Charge Notices resulting from them or cultivate a careless attitude towards driving in Bedford Borough Council. As per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes in Bedford Borough Council.

If you neither pay your Bedford PCN within 28 days nor decide to appeal against it, you will be sent a charge certificate from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The charge certificate increases your PCN fine by 50%, which means you will be paying £105 (or £75) now. 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 the Bedford Borough Council.

You will be sent a “Notice of Debt Registration” and a witness certificate from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if you don’t pay the charge certificate amount within 14 days. 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 the county court will have to use additional powers to recover the money from your possession which means employing Enforcement Agents to (contact you or) visit your personal premises.

Can I Dispute A Bedford PCN with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if the Bedford Borough Council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Bedford Borough Council in your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal website requires you to enter details given on your Notice of Rejection of Representations, after opening this webpage

You can watch this instructional video here to learn about your challenge process. The video clearly explains how to use the online service offered by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. On the Traffic Penalty Tribunal webpage, you will first have to select the type of PCN you were served by the Bedford Borough Council (shown on the bottom part of the page).

After clicking on your specific type of Penalty Charge Notice, you should select “England” (Outside London). In the window which opens up, you should click on the orange box which reads “If you don’t agree with the PCN, you can make representations against it”.

After viewing the instructions on the following page, you need to click on “Start your appeal here” at the bottom of the webpage You will then be required to enter your Vehicle Registration Number, the reference number from the “Notice of Rejection” letter from the Bedford Borough Council, and your PCN number for which the appeal was rejected on this page.

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 upload a copy of your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” letter to your application by using the Traffic Penalty Tribunal’s online portal.

You can upload evidence such as photographs or video clips of your traffic violation scenes (taken from inside your vehicle), medical certificates from a certified General Practitioner, maps of the area showing the exact distance your vehicle travelled inside a no-entry zone and scanned copies of “pay and display” tickets. You should construct a strong appeals case to communicate your mitigating circumstances or to deliver your assertion that the traffic violation never occurred.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal should be able to ascertain the legitimacy of your situation by viewing evidence material uploaded to the PCN appeals system.

Your appeal of the “Notice of Rejection of Representations” should be submitted to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal within 28 days of receiving your Notification of Rejection from the Bedford Borough Council. You must avail yourself of this chance of a free and independent hearing of your case. 

You will be able to contact the Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicator during the formulation of your appeal. The result of your appeal will be communicated to you within 14-28 days of submitting your representation. If the adjudicator decides the case in your favour, the PCN will be cancelled by the Bedford Borough Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Bedford PCN?” You should memorise the traffic contravention codes enforced at different locations in the Bedford Council, to avoid having to mention reasons indicating forgetfulness in your PCN appeal, which indicates a disregard for Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic restrictions. A strong appeals case backed by authentic evidence proving that the PCN was issued in error (or by overlooking your mitigating circumstances) will never go to waste as “A Notice of Rejection of Representations” from the Bedford Borough Council can be disputed at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

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