This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Northamptonshire PCN?” You need to carefully select the reasons for challenging your Northamptonshire PCN by keeping in mind the established grounds for contesting the contravention code on your PCN. If you are sure that the traffic violation never took place, you can simply attach video footage to prove your assertion or a pay and display ticket as evidence for a parking PCN challenge..

How Can I Challenge A Northamptonshire PCN?

You can challenge a Northamptonshire PCN on the West Northamptonshire council website or by writing a formal representation on your Notice to Owner and sending it to the West Northamptonshire parking services address. Your choice can depend on whether you have scanned copies of your paid parking permits, medical certificates for proving any mitigating circumstances affecting your driving abilities or a video recording of the traffic contravention scene to upload as evidence.

 If you don’t have any of these available with you and have paper documents and printed photographs to prove that the contravention didn’t happen or showing any acceptable mitigating circumstances for your breach of the parking, bus lane or moving traffic violation, you can send in your formal representation by mail.

You have to clearly justify the grounds for your Northamptonshire PCN appeal by mentioning your prior knowledge of the contravention code enforced at the location and by describing any actions you took to avoid committing the traffic violation (supported by photographs or video).

The grounds for your Northamptonshire PCN appeal can also include mitigating circumstances such as Covid-19 symptoms or any other serious health condition. The symptoms should be severe enough to significantly impair your driving skills. This appeal should not involve reasons which display a lack of urgency or seriousness to avoid committing the traffic contravention

It is essential for you to compile a strong appeals case before sending in your challenge so as to avoid being served a “Notice of Rejection of Representations” from the Northamptonshire Council, which means the council has denied your PCN appeal.

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 Northamptonshire PCN?

You need to begin your West Northamptonshire or North Northamptonshire PCN challenge by recalling the events which led to your traffic violation and by listing down any mitigating circumstances which affected your actions that day. Only events and mitigating circumstances which can be explained by using photos or video evidence or other documents such as medical certificates (already in your possession) should be considered as grounds for an appeal.

Some details might occur to you a day or two after the incident as the information sinks in to reveal minute details. It is advisable to allow yourself upto 4 days for carefully reviewing all the facts regarding your Parking, Bus Lane or moving traffic contravention. If you are sure that the relevant contravention code was never breached, you can simply attach photo or video evidence or an (authentic) written statement from a bystander present at the scene with your Northamptonshire PCN challenge.

North and West Northamptonshire Council have replaced Northamptonshire’s 8 previous councils. To challenge a PCN in Northamptonshire you need to visit the West Northamptonshire Council website. Even if you live in North Northamptonshire Council, you have to use the West Northamptonshire council’s parking portal for registering your appeal.

In order to submit a formal representation to your Parking PCN or Moving Traffic PCN, you have to click here. You need to open this webpage to enter your West Northamptonshire or North Northamptonshire PCN Number and your Vehicle Registration Number. Once these details have been correctly typed on you can click on “Search” to view your PCN details.

Any CCTV evidence from the West Northamptonshire or North Northamptonshire Council can be viewed first along with other details regarding your traffic violation. After this you can type in your formal representation and upload evidence documents.

It is essential to upload authentic evidence material with your PCN challenge to describe your mitigating circumstances to the Northamptonshire 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 West Northamptonshire or North Northamptonshire PCN and explain how you attempted to avoid the error (supported by photos or video footage).

If you are appealing against a West Northamptonshire or North Northamptonshire Bus Lane PCN, you need to click here. On this webpage you have to enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration number before clicking on “Search”. Then you can view your PCN details and select “make a formal representation”.

Your mitigating circumstances can help to explain why you were unable to for instance breach a restricted zone or failed to follow a no entry sign or made a banned turn. Video footage or photographs can show your efforts to evade the traffic violation, which demonstrates to the Northamptonshire Council that you were well aware of the Parking Bus Lane or Moving traffic restriction in place.

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 Northamptonshire council (by mixing up the contraventions) or reasons which involve forgetfulness to justify your actions, you can submit the formal representation

You can also appeal against your West Northamptonshire PCN by writing to the Parking Services address. Your West Northamptonshire Notice to Owner document has a space for writing down a formal representation. You can fill in the form and attach your evidence documents or photographs to the form by using a paper clip. You can also alternatively attach photographs in a series (by numbering) on a blank piece of paper explaining the chain of events taking place at your traffic violation scene.

This page can be stapled or attached with your written appeal. You need to check that you have added all the necessary evidence with your West Northamptonshire PCN appeal and clearly mentioned your PCN number and vehicle registration number as reference before mailing it to West Northamptonshire Council at this address:

Parking Services,

Angel Square,

One Angel Street,

Northampton,

NN1 1ED

Another way to send in your North Northamptonshire PCN challenge is by mail. You can appeal your North Northamptonshire PCN by writing down the grounds for your challenge on your Notice to Owner form and mailing it to the West Northamptonshire council. You can attach evidence documents or photographs to the form by using a stapler or paper clip. Your letter should mention your PCN number, date of issue of the PCN, your vehicle registration number and personal details. 

You should remember to still view your PCN Details online (by entering your PCN number and vehicle registration number) before writing your North Northamptonshire PCN appeal. Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Parking Services,

Angel Square,

One Angel Street,

Northampton,

NN1 1ED

On what grounds can I challenge a Northamptonshire Bus Lane CCTV PCN?

You can challenge a Bus Lane CCTV PCN from the Northamptonshire Council on the following grounds :

  • You did not enter a bus lane during operational hours and the CCTV has wrongly charged you with a PCN as you were just trying to access premises next to the bus lane. Contravention code 34 J.
  • You did not ignore or disregard a “no entry” sign for a bus lane, the contravention code 51 J needs to be mentioned, before proving that the violation didn’t happen. 
  • Your vehicle was not parked in a bus lane during its operational hours. Contravention code 34M or 34 F.

How much is the PCN fine for each of the 3 kinds of PCNs served by the North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire Councils?

A Parking PCN in North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire 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 Northamptonshire 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 West Northamptonshire or North Northamptonshire PCN fine?

You can pay your West Northamptonshire or North Northamptonshire PCN by visiting the online payments webpage, by writing a check or postal order and sending it by mail or by calling on the West Northamptonshire Council’s automated payments hotline.

If you choose to make your Parking or Moving Traffic PCN fine payment online, you should visit the West Northamptonshire Council website.  You need to enter your PCN Number and Vehicle Registration Number here to pay your North Northamptonshire or West Northamptonshire Parking PCN. You should click on continue, once you have entered these details.

After this you just have to enter your payment card details to complete the PCN payment. West Northamptonshire Council accepts Mastercard, Visa Card, Maestro Card, Solo Card for PCN fine payments. Diners card, Visa Electron and American Express card are not accepted for making PCN payments. 

If you choose to make your Bus PCN fine payment online, you should visit the West Northamptonshire Council website.  You need to enter your PCN Number and Vehicle Registration Number here to pay your North Northamptonshire or West Northamptonshire Bus Lane PCN. You should click on continue, once you have entered these details.

After this you just have to enter your payment card details to complete the Bus Lane PCN payment.

You might want to call on the West Northamptonshire Council’s automated payments hotline to pay your PCN.  For this you have to call on 0345 680 0153. First you need to select 1 in the options menu. 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.

You can also pay your West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire PCN by sending a check or postal order payable to “West Northamptonshire Council” and sending it through the postal service to this address:

Parking Services,

Angel Square,

One Angel Street,

Northampton,

NN1 1ED

The check or postal order should have your PCN number written on the back. You should allow 2 working days for delivering your PCN payment via 1st class mail and 5 working days via 2nd class mail.

What will happen if I don’t pay my Northamptonshire 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 North Northamptonshire or West Northamptonshire Council. As per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes in your Council.

If you neither pay your Northamptonshire 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 North Northamptonshire or West Northamptonshire 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 it 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 West Northamptonshire or North Northamptonshire PCN with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if the Councils dismiss my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the West Northamptonshire or the North Northamptonshire 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 your 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 North Northamptonshire or West Northamptonshire 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 your Council. You must avail yourself 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 North Northamptonshire or the West Northamptonshire Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge Northamptonshire PCN?” It is essential to mention established grounds for challenging your Parking, Bus Lane or moving traffic PCN and to support your Northamptonshire PCN challenge with authentic evidence. You should not be disheartened if a well-formulated appeal is rejected by the Northamptonshire Council as you can dispute the “Notice of Rejection” at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal by creating another appeal.