This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Merton PCN?” You can challenge a Merton PCN with the council with valid grounds for contesting the ticket which conforms to Schedule 7 Part 4 or Part 6 Sections 85-87 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. This blog also mentions the procedure for launching a second appeal with the London Tribunals if the Merton Council rejects your challenge.

How Can I Challenge A Merton PCN?

You can challenge a PCN served in Merton Council by postal service or online. The first thing you must do once you get a PCN is to log in to the Merton Council website for viewing the CCTV evidence about your traffic contravention. This information is usually uploaded within 24 hours. After viewing these details you will be able to compose an explanation of actions on the scene in accordance with the established grounds for challenging the PCN.

For a Merton Parking PCN, your pay and display ticket might have fallen off from your vehicle’s windshield due to moisture formation by the time you returned to your parking zone space. So the pay and display ticket was attached to your parked vehicle but was not visible when a CCTV or CEO looked for it on the windshield of your car. The reasons for challenging a CCTV bus lane or moving traffic PCN are more complex and harder to explain because the CCTV camera has already seen your vehicle move into an illegal bus lane or seen it making a banned turn.

You should challenge your Merton PCN within 14 days so that your PCN fine is put on hold at the discounted amount.

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 fine or monetary penalty for driving offences. A PCN can be issued for any legal traffic contravention, such as a parking contravention, moving traffic contravention, or bus lane violation.

The charges of your PCN will also vary depending on whether it has been issued for a higher-level violation or a lower-level violation. A PCN may also be served for refusing to pay road charges.

A PCN may be issued by a Civil Enforcement Officer or by CCTV. You will be given 28 days to respond to a Penalty Charge Notice.

 If you fail to pay the fine or appeal it, you will be sent a charge certificate which increases the PCN fine by 50% of its original value.

What is the procedure for appealing against a Merton PCN?

You can appeal against a Merton PCN online by using the Merton Council’s online service. You need to enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number on this webpage Appeal A PCN to start your PCN appeal. 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.

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 addressed to your council later, along with any material evidence if possible. Evidence including photos and videos can be attached online using the Merton Council website.

Another way of sending in your appeal is by postal service. You can write a PCN appeal to Merton Council mentioning your PCN number and vehicle registration number. The PCN appeal should also be signed and dated by you on the last page. This letter along with any documents, pay or display tickets, or photographs attached as proof needs to be sent to:

Merton Parking Services,

Merton Civic Centre,

London Road,

Morden,

SM4 5DX

You are advised to send in your PCN challenge within 10 days to avail of the 50% discount on the payment in case your appeal is rejected by Merton Council. If your appeal reaches Merton Council by the 13th day, you will only have to pay £65 if your PCN challenge fails.

How can I pay my Merton PCN fine?

You can pay your Merton PCN through the postal service, by telephone, or online here

The Merton 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. In the next window, you will be required to provide your payment card details. Merton Council accepts VisaCard, MasterCard, Maestro Card, DeltaCard, Electron Card, and Solo Card.

 You can also pay on the Merton council’s automated payments hotline by dialing: 0300 456 0504. On the call, you have to select option 2 from the list of menu options. Next, you will be required to provide your payment card details, PCN Number, and vehicle registration number. This payment hotline is active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Merton Council also accepts PCN fine payments by post. You need to send a check, postal order, or bank draft payable to “London Borough of Merton”. You can write down your PCN Number and Vehicle Registration Number on the back of your check or postal order.

Send your PCN fine payment to this address:

Parking Services,

Merton Civic Centre,

London Road,

Mordon,

SM4 5DX

You can also pay your PCN at the post office by debit card or in cash.

You can pay your Merton PCN in cash by using Paypoint. 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. There are a total of 55 PayPoint locations near parking bays in Merton council. Once you have located your nearest Paypoint outlet, you can visit the location to pay your PCN in cash.

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

The 3 kinds of PCNs served in Merton Council all have charges of £130 if paid within 28 days. A lower level parking PCN fine is £50 lesser than a higher level parking PCN, at £80.

The Penalty Charge Notice fine for a Merton Parking PCN is set at £130 for a higher level traffic violation and £80 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 £65. Similarly, if you pay your lower level parking PCN within 21 days, you just have to pay £40.

If you pay a Bus Lane PCN within 28 days, you will be charged £130 and if you pay it within 21 days, you just have to pay £65. The PCN fine for a moving traffic PCN in Merton Council is £130. There is a 50% discount for paying it within 14 days, which reduces the fine to £65.

For which traffic contraventions can I be served a Parking PCN in Merton Council?

A Parking PCN is issued in Merton Council for traffic violations including:

  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a prohibited street during prescribed hours. Vehicles are not allowed to park on yellow lines during prescribed hours except those driven by a blue badge holder (a person registered as disabled).
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a restricted street within 15 meters of a junction (on double yellow lines)
  • For a  vehicle that has been parked in violation of traffic cones in a street that has been closed off.
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a resident’s parking zone without having a valid parking permit or a valid pay and display ticket.
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a resident’s parking zone (in the pay and display bay) following the expiry of a pay and display ticket. A pay and display ticket should be purchased for the entire duration of time you might have to park your vehicle in a particular spot. 

So if you might need to spend 20-30 minutes more you should probably choose a different parking ticket in the first place.

  • For a vehicle that has been left parked in any pay and display bay not clearly showing the parking ticket. The pay and display ticket should be properly visible to the CEO or CCTV camera watching the parking bay. A 5 minute observation period will be granted to fix the situation before issuing the PCN
  • For a vehicle that has been brought into and parked within the same parking bay within one hour or any other specified no return time limit (after leaving the parking area.)
  • For a vehicle that has not been parked entirely inside the markings of a parking bay and with one full wheel shown to be beyond the correct limits of a parking zone space.
  • For exceeding a vehicle parking ticket’s time limit by 10 minutes or more. Blue Badge or disabled parking holders are exempt from this rule
  • For being parked in a disabled person’s reserved parking space without clearly showing a blue badge
  • For a vehicle incorrectly parked in a mandatory cycle lane instead of being parked in a parking bay.
  • For a vehicle that has been left parked on any portion of or inside a school keep clear marking.
  • For a vehicle that has been left parked within a pedestrian zone. It also applies to a vehicle’s entry into a pedestrian zone, as vehicle entry is banned from these areas.
  • For vehicles that have been left parked on any portion of the footpath located adjacent to a pedestrian crossing.
  • For a vehicle that has failed to move out of a pedestrian crossing area in time or has been braked or brought to rest by a driver on a pedestrian crossing.

What happens if I don’t pay my Merton PCN within 28 days?

If you don’t pay your Merton PCN within 28 days, you will be issued a charge certificate by Transport for London. The charge certificate will increase your PCN fine amount to £195 or £120. If this charge certificate is not paid or appealed within 14 days, you will receive a “Notice of Debt Registration” and a witness certificate from Transport for London.

The unpaid charge certificate amount will be considered as debt by the Traffic Enforcement Centre at the Northampton County Court. The “Notice of Debt Registration” enforces that the charge certificate must be paid within the next 21 days. 

After 21 days, the Northampton County Court will use its legal powers to recover the debt from your possession.

Can I dispute a Merton PCN with the London Tribunals if the council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute a Merton PCN with the Independent Traffic Adjudicators at London Tribunals within 28 days of getting your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” from the council. You have to fill in the form provided to you with the Notice of Rejection and mail it to this postal address:

London Tribunals,

PO Box 10598,

Nottingham,

NG6 6DR

 You can also choose to dispute the “Notice of Rejection” from your council with the London Tribunals online by clicking on the “Access the Appellants Portal” button on this webpage. All you will be required to do is simply enter your Vehicle Registration Number, PCN number, and the reference number or code from your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” letter.

You can attach copies of evidence documents online to back up your appeal against the decision of the Merton council. Such evidence may also include a signed and dated written statement describing what happened on the scene according to the viewpoint of an onlooker or witness.

London Tribunals will notify both you and the Merton Council of the hearing date. If the council contests your appeal, it will provide you with a copy of its application along with the evidence sent by it to the Traffic Adjudicators at London Tribunals. In case the independent parking and traffic adjudicator decides the case in your favour, the Merton council will promptly withdraw the PCN.

If the PCN is cancelled at this stage, you will have to pay nothing. If the London Tribunals decide the case in Merton council’s favour you will be given another 28 days to pay the PCN fine.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Merton PCN?” You should be aware of the 3 kinds of traffic contraventions PCNs are issued for in Merton Council and preferably keep a copy of the list of contraventions codes for each of them handy for quick reference. It is impossible to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice by providing spontaneous reasons to argue your case.