This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge  A Luton PCN?” The wording of your PCN challenge must display your awareness of the relevant contravention code and the text of your appeal should also be backed by specific evidence to justify your mitigating circumstances or to prove that the traffic violation didn’t occur. 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 Luton PCN?

You can challenge a Luton PCN by visiting the Luton Borough Council website. This way of appealing your PCN allows you to attach your own video recordings of the traffic violation scene. Your own video evidence can show how your vehicle did not breach a restricted street, bus lane or how it did not make a banned turn that day.

Challenging your PCN on the website also provides you with the opportunity for utilizing online information relating to the enforcement of the relevant contravention code in Luton Borough Council. This can be through a map of the council or from a list of contraventions enforced at specific locations in the council. These maps can also help you to correctly name the roads and town areas around your traffic violation scene.

You may also choose to contest your PCN by writing a formal representation on the back side of your Notice To Owner document and sending it in by mail. In this case you should allow upto 2 days for first class mail and upto 5 days for second class mail to deliver your Luton PCN challenge. But you must remember that you still have upto 9 days for constructing a strong and effective appeal to the Luton Borough Council by correctly recalling any mitigating circumstances or attaching evidence to prove that the traffic violation didn’t occur.

Once you have seen your PCN from Luton Borough Council, you can write down the contravention code on paper to begin constructing your formal representation. This Parking, Bus Lane, or Moving Traffic contravention code should form the basis of your PCN challenge, as you either mention mitigating circumstances for your actions or attempt to prove that the traffic violation never happened. 

It is necessary to attach authentic photos or video evidence to describe your version of events on the scene of the traffic violation The only way to have video clips showing your vehicle at the traffic contravention location is to constantly keep on recording video footage by employing the services of a friend or relative who travels with you. The importance of presenting this piece of evidence to the Luton Borough Council must not be overlooked.

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 Luton PCN?

You can submit a formal representation to your Luton PCN by writing a letter addressed to the Luton Borough Council or by filling in the online formal representation form on the council’s official website.

You need to brainstorm reasons for challenging a Luton PCN from the day of the incident and list them down in word processing software or on paper. It is essential to have some authentic evidence to attach with your PCN appeal in the form of video footage of the traffic violation, medical certificates explaining your mitigating circumstances, or pay and display tickets. 

The evidence must be matched with the grounds for your appeal before describing the incident from your point of view. Your rough formal representation can be edited for clarity multiple times before it is ready to attach to your online appeal to the Luton Borough Council. You need to visit the Luton Borough Council website to submit a formal representation to your PCN. You have to open this webpage to enter your PCN number and your Vehicle Registration Number. You need to click on “Search”  to view your PCN details before filling in the online appeals form.

It is essential to upload authentic evidence material with your PCN challenge to describe your mitigating circumstances to the Luton Borough Council and for explaining your point of view of the events which took place at the traffic violation scene.  If you made a video clip of your traffic contravention, you should save snapshots from it by using a video player or video editing software. 

Most video players such as VLC player allow you to slow down your video frame by frame and thus take ( a collection of) snapshots to attach with your Luton PCN challenge.The text of your appeal must state the relevant contravention code on your PCN and explain how you attempted to avoid the error (supported by photos or video footage).

Once you have proofread your appeal to eliminate any reasons for your challenge which might convey a disregard for traffic contravention codes enforced in the Luton 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 Luton PCN challenge is by mail. You can write a formal representation to the Luton Borough Council on the reverse of your “Notice to Owner” document. This handwritten appeal should be composed gradually by incorporating all the available evidence material to support the grounds for your challenge and should be able to convince the council of your mitigating circumstances (or other acceptable reasons).

Your letter should mention your PCN number, date of issue of the PCN, your vehicle registration number, and personal details. 

Evidence to support your formal representation can be attached to the form using a stapler or paper clip. Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Parking Services,

Luton Borough Council,

Town Hall,

Luton,

LU1 2BQ

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

If your vehicle has been towed away from the Luton 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 Luton Police Station to get it released.

At the Luton 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 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. 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 Luton 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 Luton Police Station 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 Luton Police Station for recovering your impounded vehicle.

You will have to make the payment to release your vehicle from the Luton Police Station 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 Luton Police Station is located at this address :

Luton Police Station,

Buxton Road,

Luton,

Bedfordshire LU1 1SD

You can visit the Luton Police Station at any time between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm from Monday to Friday. The Luton Police Station 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).

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 recycled by the Bedfordshire Police.

How can I pay my Luton PCN fine?

You should be aware of the fact that you can only pay your Luton PCN fine online. The PCN fine can be paid online on the Luton 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 Luton Borough Council. 

You need to enter your vehicle registration number and PCN number after opening the Luton 3sixty Payments Portal 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 Luton 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 Luton Borough Council?

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

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

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Luton 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 Luton 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 Luton 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 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 Luton 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 Luton Borough Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Luton PCN?”  You should be aware of the implications of breaching a Parking, Bus Lane or Moving Traffic restriction enforced in Luton Borough Council. It is advisable to keep a map of the Luton Borough Council that states the contravention codes by location with you in your vehicle, or pasted on your dashboard so that you have a mental picture of these restrictions enforced along your daily route.

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