This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Cumbria PCN?” You should create a habit of maintaining a folder on your computer with photo and video records of your road trips in Cumbria County Council, scanned copies of paid pcn fines and scanned copies of pay and display tickets. You can find the procedure for recovering your impounded vehicle from the custody of the Cumbria Constabulary inside the blog

How Can I Challenge A Cumbria PCN?

Your online challenge to a Penalty Charge Notice from Cumbria County Council should consist of an assertion which conforms to the established grounds for appealing a Bus Lane, Parking or Moving Traffic contravention code. Examples of this could include (authentic and verifiable) evidence of attaching your pay and display ticket to your windscreen, which fell off due to condensation formation on its surface before you returned to your vehicle. 

Other acceptable reasons for challenging a PCN could be mitigating circumstances which influenced your ability to continue to drive your vehicle such as a serious health condition. Once again, these also have to be backed by medical certificates from a certified General Practitioner, preferably dating from before the date of your traffic violation. If you were experiencing symptoms which led to a medical emergency during your journey, they could also be dated from the day of the incident.

All the evidence you need to support your PCN challenge should be compiled in a folder on your personal computer or laptop. This folder needs to be maintained regularly to ensure that records of your road trips and medical certificates are readily available to be uploaded. 

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. 

Can I Only Challenge A PCN from the Cumbria County Council on the official website?

Yes, you can only challenge a PCN from the Cumbria County Council by using the formal representation form on the council’s official website.  The informal challenge stage only applies to Parking PCN served by a CEO or to  a CCTV Bus Lane PCN. You can choose to make this informal appeal online or by post. 

Your Cumbria PCN appeal can be initiated by clicking on Representation (“Make a Representation against a Notice to Owner”) on this page. On this webpage you need to enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration number (as well as a web code provided on your penalty charge notice). 

Once you are ready to enter your appeal you can click “”Continue” to start your PCN challenge. 

You can view CCTV camera footage of your traffic contravention before constructing 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 to be submitted to the Cumbria County Council along with any material evidence.

So you can take 3 to 4 days for recollecting your thoughts about the traffic violation incident and even check your vehicle to recall the position in which it was parked that day.Evidence including photos and videos can be attached online using the formal representation form on the Cumbria County Council website.

You have to make the challenge to your PCN within 28 days of receiving it.

If the Cumbria County Council accepts your PCN appeal, the PCN will be annulled and you will not be liable for paying any monetary penalty. In case the council sends you a “Notice of Rejection” by disapproving of your representation you will have to pay the amount mentioned on your PCN.

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

If your vehicle has been towed away in the Cumbria County Council you need to call 101 to ask the Cumbria Constabulary 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 Cumbria Constabulary staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit the Carlisle-Durranhill Police Station 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 Cumbria Constabulary 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. This vehicle release and storage charges are set under The Road Traffic Act 1998 (Retention and Disposal of Seized Motor Vehicles).

You should pay your Cumbria County Council Parking PCN online before collecting the vehicle from the pound at the Carlisle-Durranhill Police Station. 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 vehicle pound and claim your vehicle. It is more important to collect your vehicle from the Cumbria Constabulary 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 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 in the pound you will have to pay £140 extra storage charges.

The Cumbria Constabulary has its police stations located at Workington, Carlisle-Duranhill and Barrow.

Once you contact the Cumbria Constabulary by dialling 101 and tell them your vehicle registration number you will be guided to the Carlisle-Durranhill Police Station for recovering your impounded vehicle.

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

The Carlisle-Durranhill Police Station is located at this address :

Brunel Way,

Durranhill Industrial Estate,

Carlisle,

CA1 3NQ

You can visit Carlisle-Durranhill Police Station at any time between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. The Carlisle-Durranhill Police Station is also open on Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Staff from the Cumbria Constabulary 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).

If your vehicle has been towed away you need to go to the Carlisle-Durranhill Police Station with a cash payment or payment card for payment of vehicle release charges and any vehicle storage expenses (incurred by the vehicle pound). Next, you need to pay the required charges and your vehicle is free. 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 auctioned off. 

What is a Penalty Charge Notice?

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

A PCN may be issued by a Civil Enforcement Officer or by CCTV.  You will be given 28 days to respond to a PCN. If you don’t pay the PCN within 28 days you will be issued a charge certificate.

A charge certificate will increase the PCN penalty amount by 50% of its original value.

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

The 3 kinds of PCNs served in Cumbria County Council are a Parking PCN, a Bus Lane PCN and a Moving Traffic PCN. 

The Penalty Charge Notice fine for a Cumbria County Council Parking PCN is set at £70 for a higher level traffic violation and £50 for a lower level traffic violation. A 50% discount applies to early payment so If you pay your higher level parking PCN within 14 days, you just have to pay £35. Similarly, if you pay your lower level parking PCN within 14 days, you just have to pay just £25.

If you pay a Bus Lane PCN within 28 days, you will be charged £70 and if you pay it within 21 days, you just have to pay £35. The PCN fine for a moving traffic PCN in Cumbria County Council is £70. There is a 50% discount for paying it within 14 days, which reduces the fine to £35.

How can I pay a PCN fine in Cumbria County Council?

You can pay a PCN fine in Cumbria County Council by telephone or online here. The Cumbria County Council website provides an online payment service for PCN fines. You need to open this webpage to access the Penalty Charge Notice payments portal. Your PCN number and vehicle registration number have to be entered to initiate the payment process. After clicking on “Next”, you will be required to provide your payment card details. Cumbria County Council accepts VisaCard, MasterCard, Maestro Card, DeltaCard, Electron Card, and Solo Card.

You can also pay on the Cumbria County Council’s automated payments hotline by dialling: 01293 438 312.. On the call you will be required to provide your payment card details, PCN Number, and vehicle registration number.You can enter your PCN number by replacing the letters with a * sign. This payment hotline is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should wait to receive a confirmation code for your PCN fine payment before you end the call.

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

If you neither pay nor decide to challenge your PCN from the Cumbria County Council before the expiration of the 28-day limit 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 the recovery of debts against you by the Cumbria County Council..

So, 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 sanction the use of additional powers (to your council) for recovering the money from your possession. At the end of 21 days the responsibility for recovering the unpaid PCN fine (of £105 or £75) from you will be passed on to enforcement agents through an official court order also known as a “Notice of Enforcement”.

You must respond to the letter from these enforcement agents within 7 days.

Can I Dispute A PCN from the Cumbria County Council with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if the council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Cumbria County 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 can watch this instructional video here to learn about your challenge process. It 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 Cumbria County Council (shown on the bottom part of the page) .

You will then be required to enter your Vehicle Registration Number, the reference number from the “Notice of Rejection” letter from the Cumbria County Council, and your PCN number for which the appeal was rejected.

This challenge to an appeal dismissal by the Cumbria County Council 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.This challenge should be submitted within 28 days of being sent your “Notice of Rejection”.

Scanned copies of evidence to strengthen your case such as a pay and display ticket, a written statement from an eyewitness 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 the Cumbria County 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 the Cumbria County Council

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Cumbria PCN?” You should rehearse the traffic violation scene in your head a few times to search for any pointers on which acceptable grounds you can challenge the PCN. The CCTV evidence may not fully indicate your actions to prevent the contravention, which you had taken on the spot. 

If you have photo or video records of the incident to show how you had attempted to avoid the resulting situation (which may include some dialogues describing your awareness of the contravention in place) the evidence can be uploaded to back your grounds for appeal.

Citations

Cumbria Constabulary website

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