This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Maidstone PCN?” Actively collecting and preserving evidence such as video recordings filmed from inside your vehicle, copies of parking permits or medical certificates to justify mitigating circumstances can save you the embarrassment of being unable to add any proof to back the grounds of your formal representation. This blog explains how this evidence forms the most important aspect of your Maidstone PCN challenge.

How Can I Challenge A Maidstone PCN?

Your Maidstone PCN challenge is a formal representation to the council which explains your mitigating circumstances or your assertion that the traffic contravention didn’t occur by using authentic evidence material to support your appeal such as video footage of the incident. The challenge is a legal defense of your driving actions at a box junction, parking zone or at an intersection. It is certainly not a casually worded explanation of why you committed the error which could simply be owing to carelessness or driving too fast at a road turning or road signal.

Once you have understood this, you can proceed to formulate a PCN challenge based on how you avoided breaching a certain contravention code or by stating how your mitigating circumstances affected your driving abilities at the traffic violation scene. Video recordings can be used as evidence to support your case by describing your actions shown in the clip and making the assertion that the video clearly shows your vehicle moving in the correct direction. 

Your formal representation needs to prove genuine mitigating circumstances influencing your driving actions at the traffic violation scene. These may include a serious health condition which affects your control over steering or braking the vehicle properly. This health problem or disease needs to be confirmed by attaching a medical certificate from a certified general practitioner with your appeal. The medical report should be written a week or at least 3 to 4 days before your traffic violation.

You have to produce evidence which either justifies the (prior) existence of your mitigating circumstances or clearly shows that the traffic violation never happened.  It is essential that you formulate a strong appeals case before submitting your formal representation to the Maidstone Borough Council so that you don’t end up with a Notice of Rejection of Representations from the council. The “Notice of Rejection” implies that your appeal has been refused.

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 Maidstone PCN?

You can submit a formal representation to your Maidstone PCN by writing a letter addressed to the Maidstone Borough Council and by filling in the online formal representation form on the website..

You need to begin to brainstorm reasons to challenge a Maidstone 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 Maidstone Borough Council. 

You need to visit the Maidstone Borough Council website to submit a formal representation to your PCN. You can challenge your Maidstone PCN online by clicking here. In the window which opens up you need to enter your PCN Number and Vehicle Registration Number. Once these details have been entered correctly you can click on “Search”  to view your PCN details before filling in the online formal representation form. 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.

It is essential to upload authentic evidence material with your PCN challenge to describe your mitigating circumstances to the Maidstone Borough 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 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 Maidstone 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 Maidstone PCN challenge is by mail. You can write down a formal representation on the Notice to Owner form sent or handed to you, and attach evidence documents or photographs to the form by using a stapler or paper clip. Your PCN challenge should clearly 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 by 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,

Maidstone Borough Council,

PO Box 249,

Maidstone,

Kent,

ME16 8BQ

If the Maidstone Borough 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.

Which moving traffic contravention codes are enforced in Maidstone Borough Council?  

The Moving traffic contravention codes enforced in Maidstone Borough Council are as follows:

  • Code 31 Entering and stopping your vehicle inside a box junction or preventing vehicles behind you from moving out of a box junction. A vehicle may pause at a box junction for a certain period of time in order to make a right turn at the traffic signal.
  • Code 32 (Left turn) Failing to steer your vehicle or guide your vehicle in the direction of an arrow shown inside a blue colored sign.
  • Code 32 ( Left turn ahead) Failing to slow your vehicle or steer it correctly into the approaching sharp left turn on the road. This direction is displayed on a traffic sign by a (left curved) white arrow enclosed in a blue colored sign.    
  • Code 32 (One way traffic) Failing to drive on the correct side of the road or approaching the (one way) lane from the opposite side. This traffic sign is indicated by an upward pointing white arrow enclosed in a blue colored sign.
  • Code 33 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on vehicles entering a bus and cycle (only) lane. This traffic sign is indicated by a depiction of a bus and a cycle above it.
  • Code 33 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on vehicles entering a tramcar only road or street. This traffic sign shows a depiction of a tramcar, enclosed in a blue colored sign.
  • Code 37 is applied to charge vehicles for failing to leave a space for vehicles moving in the opposite direction. The sign indicates a priority to be given to vehicles from the other direction on the road which means slowing down and keeping your car aligned to the left side of the road. The road sign shows a larger black colored arrow pointing downwards to the right of a smaller red colored arrow pointing upwards.
  • Code 37 (Giving way to oncoming vehicles) indicates drivers to give way to vehicles moving in the opposite direction. The road sign for the contravention has the following sentence printed in black “Give way to oncoming vehicles”
  • Code 38 indicates drivers to keep their vehicles on the left or right side of the road. This moving traffic contravention is indicated by a downward pointing arrow tilted toward the left side or a downward pointing arrow tilted toward the right side.
  • Code 50 (Making a banned turn) This contravention code indicates no right turn for vehicular traffic . The road sign for the traffic contravention is indicated by a red prohibition symbol on a right curved black arrow 
  • Code 50 (Making a banned turn) This contravention code indicates no left turn fpr vehicular traffic. The road sign for the traffic contravention is indicated by a red prohibition symbol on a left curved black arrow.
  • Code 50 (Making a banned turn) This contravention code indicates the prohibition of a U-turn at the location. The road sign for this traffic contravention displays a red prohibition symbol on an (n shaped) arrow which shows a vehicle making a u turn.
  • Code 51 ( Not following a no entry sign) This contravention code indicates the breach of a no entry sign. 
  • Code 52 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on vehicles entering a lane only used by non-mechanically propelled vehicles used by pedestrians. This traffic sign is indicated by a red coloured circle.
  • Code 52 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on motor vehicles entering a certain street. This traffic sign is indicated by the depiction of a motorbike above a car.
  • Code 52 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on  all motor vehicles except solo motorcycles. This traffic sign is indicated by the depiction of a car.
  • Code 52 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on all motor vehicles except cars. This traffic sign is indicated by the depiction of a motorcycle.
  • Code 52 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on goods vehicles exceeding the maximum weight limit.. This traffic sign is indicated by the depiction of a goods vehicle with the weight limit, in tonnes stated inside the vehicle symbol
  • Code 53 (Using a restricted street or road) Failing to adhere to the restrictions on vehicles entering a pedestrian only lane. This traffic sign is indicated by a sign displaying the words “Pedestrian Zone” above a circle containing a motorcycle and a car the days for the Pedestrian Zone restrictions to be applicable are stated under the sign. There are specific operational hours for loading vehicles under these restrictions stated under the sign.

How Can I Pay My Maidstone PCN?

You can choose to pay your Maidstone PCN by calling on the council’s automated payments hotline or by visiting the Maidstone Borough Council website.

You need to enter your vehicle registration number and PCN number after opening this webpage  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 Maidstone Bus Lane PCN within 21 days, you will have to pay just £35.

Maidstone Council accepts Mastercard, Visa Card, Maestro Card, Solo Card and Visa Electron card for PCN fine payments, made online and on the Maidstone automated payments hotline. Diners card and American Express card are not accepted for making PCN payments. 

You might want to call on the Maidstone Borough Council’s automated payments hotline.  For this, you have to dial 01622 602 544. On the call, you will need to enter your PCN number and 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.

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

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

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

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Maidstone 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 Maidstone 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 Maidstone 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 Maidstone Borough Council. You must avail 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 Maidstone Borough Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Maidstone 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 Maidstone Borough 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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