This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Blackpool PCN?” Your PCN challenge should either convince the Blackpool Council that the contravention never occurred or that it occurred as a result of unforeseen mitigating circumstances which affected your driving abilities. You must be prepared with evidence to challenge your PCN such as scanned copies of pay and display tickets, medical certificates to prove any serious health conditions and regularly updated video logs of your road trips in Blackpool Council.

How Can I Challenge A Blackpool PCN?

The most important element of your Blackpool PCN challenge is the proof of your authentic mitigating circumstances (such as a medical emergency) or photographs or video footage clearly showing that the relevant traffic contravention never happened. In order for your formal representation to be accepted you need to convince the council that your actions at the scene were a result of circumstances beyond your control or that you did not breach the relevant Parking, Bus Lane or Moving traffic restriction in the first place.

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 on the scene of the traffic violation. The contents of your formal representation should be composed offline in Microsoft Word (or any other word processing software) and evidence documents related to the challenge should be stored in a separate folder on your desktop. This data can later be transferred to the online formal representation form. 

Before writing down a formal representation or entering your PCN challenge online it is necessary for you to search for evidence regarding your mitigating circumstances such as medical certificates regarding a serious health condition, video recordings or photos of the traffic violation scene or a copy of your pay and display ticket used to park that day.

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 Blackpool PCN?

You need to begin your Blackpool 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 upto 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 Blackpool PCN challenge.

You need to visit the Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool PCN appeal. Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Blackpool Council,

PO Box 4,

Blackpool,

FY1 1NA

On what grounds can I challenge a Blackpool Bus Lane CCTV PCN?

You can challenge a Bus Lane CCTV PCN from Blackpool Council on the following grounds :

  • You did not enter a bus lane during operational hours and the CCTV has wrongly charged you with a PCN as you were just trying to access premises next to the bus lane. Contravention code 34 J.
  • You did not ignore or disregard a “no entry” sign for a bus lane, the contravention code 51 J needs to be mentioned, before proving that the violation didn’t happen. 
  • Your vehicle was not parked in a bus lane during its operational hours. Contravention code 34M or 34 F.

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

A Parking PCN in Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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

How Can I Pay my Blackpool PCN fine?

You can pay your Blackpool PCN fine on the online payments page or by calling Blackpool Council’s automated payments hotline.

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Blackpool council website. After opening this webpage you can enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration number. You need to click on “Search” to search for your PCN details in the Blackpool Council’s online database. After selecting to pay your PCN, you will need to enter your payment card details.

You might want to call on Blackpool Council’s automated payments hotline for paying your PCN. To pay by this method, you have to call on 0300 456 0495. On the call, you will need to enter your PCN number and your payment card details. You can use the * key to enter the letters in your PCN number. This payment hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should wait to receive a confirmation code for your PCN payment before ending the call.

What will happen if I don’t pay my Blackpool 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 Blackpool Council. As per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes in Blackpool Council.

If you neither pay your Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool PCN with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if the Blackpool Council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool 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 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 Blackpool 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 Blackpool Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Blackpool PCN?” A formal representation needs to be carefully formulated, after taking into account every single factor which influenced your breach of the relevant bus lane or moving traffic restriction in Blackpool Council. Your appeal basically serves to bring to the attention of the Parking Services Officer, authentic evidence or background details relating to the Parking, Bus Lane or moving traffic contravention which the CCTV or human observer might have missed while serving the PCN.

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