This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Reading Borough Council PCN? A Reading Borough Council PCN challenge should contain evidence documents or photographs to support your reasons for disputing the Penalty Charge Notice . A thorough awareness of Parking, Bus Lane and Moving Traffic contravention codes is essential before making a formal representation to the Reading Borough Council.

How Can I Challenge A Reading Borough Council PCN?

A formal representation to your Reading Borough Council PCN can be written down in a word processing software first and the reasons for your challenge can be edited for clarity and to eliminate any reasons which do not conform to the established grounds for contesting the contravention code. Once you have seen your PCN from Reading 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 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. Video footage and still photographs from inside the vehicle (taken on the scene) can also show for instance, how you tried to apply the brakes to your vehicle on time or to steer it properly in the correct direction. Once you have written down a professionally worded PCN challenge and chosen the evidence material you need to prove your case, you can transfer your formal representation to your online Reading Borough Council account.

The evidence related to a PCN challenge can only be found if you have filmed video clips of your road journeys in Reading Borough Council or saved copies of your parking permits and actively prepared for having to appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice.

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 Reading Borough Council PCN?

You need to begin your Reading Borough Council 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 Reading PCN challenge.

You need to visit the Reading Borough Council website to submit a formal representation to your PCN. You need to open this webpage to select the contravention code for your traffic violation, mentioned on your Penalty Charge Notice. The webpage offers a choice of 21 contravention codes. Once you have selected the contravention code, you will see the reasons for contesting your PCN also known as the grounds for your appeal listed on the next page.

This choice needs to be made carefully as the reasons need to be one of the permissible mitigating circumstances for the contravention code. “I had a medical emergency” is always acceptable as a grounds for your appeal if you have authentic evidence to back your case. You will see, “Challenge Your PCN” written under all the correct choices, along with a detailed explanation of the contravention code.

You must make sure that you have credible evidence in your possession to support the reason being selected for your challenge. This selection can be postponed for a day or two to get the choice right. You can come back to the online formal representation form, once you are sure of the presence of evidence to back your challenge.

After making the correct selection, you will be led to the login page.Here you need to simply enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number to sign in to your Reading Borough PCN account. Once you have typed these details in you can click on “Search” 

Any CCTV evidence from the Reading Borough 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 Reading 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 Reading Borough Council PCN and explain how you attempted to avoid the error (supported by photos or video footage).

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 Reading Borough 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 Reading 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 Reading Borough Council PCN challenge is by mail. You can write down a formal representation on your “Notice to Owner” document and 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 Reading Borough Council Parking PCN appeal. Your Parking or Moving Traffic PCN appeals letter and all accompanying evidence material (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Reading Borough Council,

PO Box 3011,

Reading,

RG1 9RY

If you are appealing against a Bus Lane PCN your formal representation needs to be sent to:

Reading Borough Council BL,

PO Box 3012,

Reading,

RG1 9RZ

What are the higher-level contraventions for a Reading Borough Council Parking PCN?

The higher-level contraventions for a Reading Borough Council Parking PCN are as follows:

  • Your vehicle was parked in a restricted street during operational hours
  • You left your vehicle parked in a residential parking bay without displaying a pay and display ticket or another parking permit
  • Your vehicle was parked in a parking zone which is reserved for police vehicles
  • Your vehicle was stopped on a taxi rank
  • Your vehicle had failed to follow a restriction order for vehicles to enter a pedestrian zone
  • Your vehicle was parked with one or more wheels positioned over a footpath
  • Your vehicle exceeds the permitted height or length of a vehicle which can be parked in the area
  • Your parked vehicle is obstructing moving traffic.

What are the lower-level contraventions for a Parking PCN in Reading Borough Council?

A lower-level contravention for a Parking PCN in Reading Borough Council includes the following situations:

  • Your vehicle is still parked in a parking zone when its indicated time limit has expired
  • Your vehicle was parked with payment made to extend its stay in the parking zone beyond the original parking permit time
  • Your vehicle was parked in the same parking zone within one hour of leaving the zone.
  • Your vehicle was parked in a disc parking space without clearly displaying the parking disc
  • Your vehicle has been left parked with its engine on, in a parking space where this is prohibited.
  • Your vehicle was parked in a parking space without any pay and display ticket or paying any parking charge whatsoever.
  • Your vehicle was not parked within the correct markings of a parking bay or parking space and a full wheel of your vehicle was outside the parking space for your vehicle.

How Can I Pay a PCN from the Reading Borough Council?

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

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 Reading 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 Reading Borough Council?

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

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

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

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Reading Borough Council PCN?” You need to create a habit of preserving your used parking permits, recording daily videos of your road journeys in Reading Borough Council and keeping scanned copies of medical certificates relating to any serious health condition you might be experiencing. You can only have this evidence with you to upload with your formal representation if you regularly maintain a folder on your computer with data relating to your driving actions and mitigating circumstances.

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