This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Gillingham PCN?” Your Gillingham PCN challenge needs to be supported by at least one authentic evidence document or a photograph relating to the specific traffic violation. This blog contains instructions on how you can recover your impounded vehicle from the custody of the Kent Police.

How Can I Challenge A Gillingham PCN?

You can challenge a Gillingham Town PCN on the Dorset Council website by simply entering your PCN number and vehicle registration number. But before you write down your online appeal, you need to create a mental image of the traffic violation scene and note down any mitigating circumstances which influenced your driving abilities and whether you can recall the contravention actually taking place.

The first step in composing your appeal is to study the contravention code mentioned on your Penalty Charge Notice. For instance, you have been served a CCTV  bus lane PCN with the contravention code 34 M or 34 F, which means your vehicle has been spotted inside a bus lane during its operational hours. You can contest the PCN by mentioning that you had to access a property (on an offset bus street lane) that can only be reached by taking that route.

To prove this you can provide a map of the area which clearly shows your route leading to the property entrance. For confirming that this property belongs to you or to a relative of yours, you can provide their contact details as well. 

Your grounds for appealing a Gillingham Town Council PCN must not include excuses such as not being aware of the traffic contraventions in place at a certain parking zone, bus lane or road junction. Any reasons for PCN your challenge which may indicate forgetfullness on your part also need to be eliminated by staying focused on the route you have to take and by memorising the contravention codes enforced at different locations (as your vision may miss out a traffic sign). Forgetfulness and carelessness both convey a disregard for traffic restrictions enforced in the Gillingham Town Council.

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.

Can I Only Challenge A Gillingham Council PCN online?

Yes, you can only challenge a Gillingham Council PCN on the Dorset Council Parking Portal.

Your Gillingham Town Council PCN appeal can be initiated by clicking here and entering your Dorset PCN number and your vehicle registration number. Once you have entered these details, you can click on search to find your Gillingham Town PCN on the Dorset Council Parking Portal. 

You can view CCTV camera footage of your traffic contravention before constructing your PCN appeal. The reasons for you disputing the PCN can be typed into a word processing software first and related to the text of the relevant traffic contravention code as well as to the specific material evidence you plan to use in your appeal. 

These reasons need to be formally compiled into an appeals letter to be submitted to the Dorset Council along with any material evidence. You are actually challenging a PCN served in Gillingham Town, with the Dorset Council. Dorset Council is the regional authority responsible for administrating parking fines in Gillingham Town Council.

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. If you were driving with a passenger, their observations of the scene from the back seat of your vehicle could also help you to explain exactly what happened. Evidence including photos and videos can be attached online to your Gillingham Town PCN challenge by accessing the Dorset PCN Database.

You have to make the challenge to your PCN within 14 days of receiving your “Notice to Owner”. The Dorset Council allows you only 14 days to compose and submit your formal representation online, after 14 days, you will have to pay your Gillingham Town PCN. 

If the Dorset 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 from the Gillingham Town Council you need to call 101 to ask the Kent 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 Kent police staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit the Medway Police station to submit your vehicle and identification documents.

At the Medway Police station, 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. 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 Kent 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. 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 Dorset Parking PCN online before collecting the vehicle from the Firstline Vehicle Recovery Unit. 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 verify your vehicle documents at the Medway Police station and to collect your vehicle from Firstline Vehicle Recovery Ltd than to pay your PCN fine because storage fees of £20 are being added every day and your vehicle will no longer be with the vehicle recovery operator after 14 days.

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

Once you contact the Kent Police by dialling 101 and tell them your vehicle registration number you will be guided to the Medway Police Station for recovering your impounded vehicle and you will also be informed that your vehicle is being held at the Firstline Vehicle Recovery Unit at Epsom. The vehicle recovery operator should also be mentioned on your vehicle seizure notice.

Medway Police Station is located at this address:

Medway Police Station Eastbridge,

Purser Way,

Gillingham,

Kent ME7 1NE

You can call Firstline Recovery Ltd on 0203 976 1066 to confirm your vehicle release appointment or impounded vehicle status. If you have verified your documents at the Medway police station, your vehicle should be ready for release. You will have to make the payment to release your vehicle from Firstline Vehicle Recovery by visiting the location in person with at least £200 in cash or available as credit on your payment card. Firstline Vehicle Recovery accepts Visa Card, Master Card, Maestro Card, and Solo Card for the payment of vehicle release and storage charges. The vehicle recovery operator offers its services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

First Line Recovery is located at this address :

Unit 1,

Blenheim Trade Centre,

Epsom,

KT19 9XX

You can visit Medway Police station at any time between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. Medway Police Station Eastbridge is also open on Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:00pm. Staff from the Kent Police will be available to address your queries and for verifying all your documents.

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 Kent Police staff, your vehicle seizure notice will be stamped to authorise the release of the vehicle. This stamped vehicle seizure notice needs to be shown at Firstline Vehicle Recovery Ltd to obtain your vehicle.

You must remember to recover your vehicle within 7 days from Firstline Recovery Ltd. If you leave it in the custody of the Kent Police for more than 14 days the car might be scrapped or sold.

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

A Parking PCN in the Gillingham Town 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 Gillingham Town 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 Gillingham PCN fine?

You can pay your Gillingham Town Council PCN fine on the Dorset Council’s parking pcn payments page or by calling Dorset Council’s automated payments hotline. Gillingham Town is a part of Dorset Council so you need to visit their website to pay for your PCN.

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Dorset 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 Gillingham Town Council’s online database. After selecting to pay your PCN, you will need to enter your payment card details.

You can also call on Dorset Council’s automated payments hotline for paying your Gillingham Town PCN. To pay by this method, you have to call on 0300 7900 545. On the call, you will need to enter your Gillingham Town 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 Gillingham Council 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 Gillingham Council. As per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes in Gillingham Town Council.

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

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Gillingham Town Dorset 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 Gillingham Town 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 Gillingham 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 Gillingham Town Dorset 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 Gillingham Town Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Gillingham PCN?” You need to carefully construct a PCN challenge by taking into account all the factors (which can be demonstrated by supporting evidence) influencing your actions leading to the Parking, Bus Lane or Moving Traffic contravention. 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 Gillingham Town Dorset Council can be disputed at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?