This blog post serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Bolton PCN?” Your Bolton PCN challenge is an attempt to convince the council that you have been wrongly charged with a Penalty Charge Notice by mentioning your authentic mitigating circumstances or by clearly showing that the traffic violation didn’t happen.  This blog contains detailed instructions on how you can recover your impounded vehicle from the custody of the Greater Manchester Police.

How Can I Challenge A Bolton PCN?

You need to assemble evidence relating to your Bolton PCN challenge before writing down the text of your appeal. This evidence may consist of medical certificates, pay and display tickets, authentic photographs or video footage of the traffic violation. It is necessary to preserve this evidence in digital form to keep it readily available for uploading with your Bolton PCN appeal. So you should regularly record your road journeys in Bolton Council as every day’s recording matters.

This evidence can be easily matched with the grounds of your Parking, Bus Lane or Moving Traffic PCN challenge to prove your mitigating circumstances or for showing that the traffic violation didn’t occur. You have to be sure of the assertions being written down in your formal representation and your appeal should also display a prior awareness of the contravention code on your Penalty Charge Notice (by demonstrating your evasive actions at the traffic violation scene). You can explain how you attempted to steer your vehicle in the correct direction to avoid breaching a moving traffic restriction with the aid of photographs or video evidence

If you narrowly ended up violating the moving traffic contravention, this effort should be able to convince the Bolton Council that your actions were a result of mitigating circumstances. But if you have any genuine health issues with strong symptoms such as Covid-19 or any other pre-diagnosed condition which might affect your driving abilities, you can add evidence to support it with your PCN challenge.

It is essential for you to compile a strong appeals case before sending in your challenge so as to avoid being served a “Notice of Rejection of Representations” from the Bolton Council, which means the council has denied your PCN appeal.

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 Bolton Council PCN?

You need to begin your Bolton Council 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 Bolton PCN challenge.

You need to visit the Bolton Council website to submit a formal representation to your PCN. You need to open this webpage to enter your name, PCN Number, postal address, email address, telephone number, the grounds of your appeal. Once you have typed in all this information, you can upload evidence documents or photographs to support your formal representation.

Any CCTV evidence from the Bolton 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 to actively dispute the case put forward by the Bolton Council.

It is essential to upload authentic evidence material with your PCN challenge to describe your mitigating circumstances to the Bolton 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 Bolton Council 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 Bolton 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 Bolton Council (by mixing up the contraventions) or reasons which involve forgetfulness to justify your actions, you can submit the formal representation by clicking on “Submit Form” (at the bottom of the page).

If you donot wish to send your online formal representation by using this form on the Bolton Council website you can write an email to parkingservices@bolton.gov.uk

Another way to send in your Bolton Council PCN challenge is by mail. You can write down a formal representation on  this PCN Challenge form after downloading and printing the document 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 Bolton Council PCN appeal. You completed PCN Challenge form and all accompanying evidence material (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Bolton Council,

PO Box 404,

Bolton BL1 4FD

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

If your vehicle has been towed away from the Bolton Council you need to call 101 to ask the Greater Manchester 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 Greater Manchester Police staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit Operation Wolverine to get it released.

You will be required to verify 2 kinds of ID documents such as a passport and a driving licence at the Operation Wolverine Headquarters or at the Bolton Police Station. 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.

After all these documents have been verified by the Greater Manchester Police staff, your vehicle seizure notice will be stamped to authorise the release of the vehicle.

All these original documents must be shown at the specified location before you can take your vehicle home.

Your area in the jurisdiction of the Greater Manchester Police is known as “Bolton North” or Crompton Vale and your nearest Police Station in Bolton Council is Bolton Police Station. After you call 101 and mention your Vehicle Registration Number, you will be instructed to visit the Bolton Police Station or Operation Wolverine to verify your vehicle registration and ID documents. 

Vehicles are seized by the Greater Manchester Police under Section 165 A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 due to a violation of your driving license rules. You must remember to visit the Operation Wolverine vehicle pound (or Bolton Police Station) within 7 days of the date mentioned on your form 3078. The amount of money you will need to unclamp your vehicle includes a £150 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) + £150 = £210 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 Bolton Parking PCN online before collecting the vehicle from the pound at the Operation Wolverine Headquarters. But even if you just have £150 or £210 with you (for leaving your vehicle in the pound for up to 3 days), you can still (verify your vehicle documents and) pay the amount at the vehicle pound to claim your vehicle. It is more important to collect your vehicle from Operation Wolverine 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.

As you will have to pay your Bolton Parking PCN within 14 days when you are recovering your impounded vehicle, it will cost you only £35. 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 at Operation Wolverine you will have to pay £140 extra storage charges.

Once you contact the Greater Manchester Police by dialling 101 and tell them your vehicle registration number you will be guided to Operation Wolverine or to Bolton Police Station for verifying ID and vehicle registration documents belonging to your impounded vehicle. Boston Central Police Station (Scholey Street) is located at this address:

6-8 Scholey Street,

Off Manchester Road,

Bolton,

Greater Manchester BL2 1HD

If you need to visit Bolton Central Police Station, you can go to the location between 08:00 am and 08:00 pm from Monday to Friday. You can also visit Bolton Police Station on weekends between 10:00 am and 06:00 pm.

Your local police station staff consists of 2 Police Community Support Officers Barrett (63291) and Reilly (69656), Police Constable Atherton (4917), Sergeant Keir (14903) and Inspector Potts (11431).

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

Operation Wolverine is located at this address :

Eccles Police Station,

Gorton Street,

Eccles,

Greater Manchester,

M30 7LZ

You can visit Operation Wolverine at any time between 9:00 am and 04:30 pm from Monday to Friday and from 8:30 am to 11:30 am on Saturday. Staff from the Greater Manchester Police will be available at the pound to address your queries and for receiving the vehicle release charges. 

You should check that you 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) with you before visiting Operation Wolverine (or Bolton Police Station).

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

How Can I Pay my Bolton PCN fine?

You can pay your Bolton PCN on the online payments page, at your nearest post office or paypoint location in cash, by sending a check or postal order through the mail or by calling the Bolton Council’s automated payments hotline.

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Bolton Council website. On this page you need to click on “Pay Online” In the window which opens up you can enter your PCN number (Reference) to initiate your PCN fine payment. After clicking on “Validate” you need to enter your payment card details to complete the online payment process. Bolton Council accepts Visa, Mastercard, Maestro Card and Delta Card for PCN payments.

You might want to call on Bolton Council’s automated payments hotline.  For this you have to call on 03004 560 642. 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.

You can also pay your Bolton PCN by sending a check or postal order payable to “Bolton Council”. You also need to attach the payment slip in your “Notice To Owner” document to this payment. The check or postal order should have your PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number written at the back. This payment needs to be sent to:

Bolton Council,

PO Box 434,

Bolton BF1 4FD

You can also pay your Bolton PCN by visiting your nearest Pay point location with your PCN and cash payment of £70 or £35. To pay you will have to search for your nearest PayPoint location here. A letter containing your unique Paypoint barcode is required to access the payments system. Once you have located your nearest Paypoint outlet, you can visit the location to pay your PCN in cash.

Another way to pay your Bolton PCN is by cash, debit card or check at any Post Office in Bolton Council. Your check should be payable to “Post Office Ltd”.

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

A Parking PCN in Bolton 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 Bolton 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 Bolton 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 Bolton Council. As per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes in Bolton Council.

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

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

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Bolton PCN?”  The focus of your PCN challenge will differ from proving that you had properly attached a pay and display ticket to your vehicle or parked it correctly within its designated parking space (for a Parking PCN) to demonstrating your mitigating circumstances for breaching a bus lane during its operational hours (for a Bus Lane PCN). All these different kinds of contravention codes require specific focal points to compose your PCN challenge around, which needs to be carefully selected given your available evidence material.

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