This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Rochdale PCN?” The blog explains why a PCN challenge must never contain reasons justifying spontaneous actions that resulted in the traffic violation or indicate forgetfulness (which conveys a disregard for enforced contraventions).  This blog explains the procedure for recovering your impounded vehicle from the Greater Manchester Police’s “Operation Wolverine” vehicle pound.

How Can I Challenge A Rochdale PCN?

You need to send your electronic PCN challenge via email to the Rochdale parking services email address. This email will also contain a filled PCN appeals form which needs to be downloaded from the Rochdale website first. Evidence documents to support your case will be uploaded as attachments to the email and can be identified by mentioning a checklist at the end of your message.

As you are writing from your personal email account, you should remember to mention your PCN number, vehicle registration number, and (return) email address clearly so that your details can be saved correctly. Also as you can only submit the email once, it is recommended to first compose your PCN appeal on a word processing software and then paste the text in your email to Rochdale parking services.

If your Rochdale PCN challenge mentions mitigating circumstances, it is necessary to first explain how they influenced your driving abilities at the traffic violation scene. Mitigating circumstances have to be genuine, preferably pre diagnosed health conditions severe enough to require emergency medical assistance. 

You can also send in your PCN appeal by printing out the downloaded PCN appeals form, filling it in by hand and attaching evidence documents by using a stapler or paper clip. 

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 Rochdale PCN?

You need to begin brainstorming reasons to challenge a Rochdale PCN from the day of the incident and list them down in a 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 email or written appeal form to Rochdale Council. If you are appealing a Rochdale PCN via email, you should have a digital record of your pay and display tickets, medical certificates and photo or video evidence of your road trips to upload as an attachment.

You need to send an email to [email protected] for making a formal representation to your Rochdale PCN. This email must mention your email address, your PCN number, your vehicle registration number, your name, address and telephone number. You also need to upload a completed copy of this pdf version of the Rochdale PCN appeals form, as well as evidence documents or video clearly stating its title in the file name. These attachment titles should be mentioned along with the grounds of your appeal so that they can be easily located and matched with your form.

You can mention a checklist of your evidence material at the end of your email to ensure that all your uploaded attachments are brought to the attention of the CEO viewing your appeal.

The other method of challenging your Rochdale PCN is by printing the Rochdale PCN appeals form, completing it and attaching evidence documents by using a stapler or paper clip. Your appeals form and all evidence material needs to be mailed to the following address:

Parking Services, 

No.1 Riverside,

Smith Street,

Rochdale OL16 1XU

How can I pay my Rochdale PCN?

You can pay your Rochdale PCN online on the council website, by visiting your nearest Paypoint location, by writing a check or postal order and sending it in the mail, in person at the Rochdale post office and by calling on the Rochdale Council automated payments hotline. 

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Pay Rochdale Borough Council  Parking Penalty Charge Notice page. Here, you can enter your PCN number and click on “Validate” to initiate your PCN fine payment. In the next 3 steps of paying your PCN, you need to enter your vehicle registration number, payment card details and complete the process by making the PCN payment.

You might want to call on the Rochdale council’s automated payments hotline.  For this you have to call on 0300 456 0496. On the call you will need to enter your PCN number and vehicle registration number. 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 pay your PCN fine in person at the Rochdale post office by visiting the location with £70 or £35 (for payments made within 14 days) in cash. 

Rochdale Post office is located at the following address:

Rochdale Post Office,

8-10 South Parade,

Rochdale,

Lancashire OL16 1LR

PCN fine payments are also accepted at all Paypoint locations in Rochdale Borough Council. 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. Once you have located your nearest Paypoint outlet, you can visit the location to pay your PCN in cash.

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

If your vehicle has been towed away from the Rochdale Borough Council you need to call 101 to ask the Greater Manchester 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 Greater Manchester Police staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit Operation Wolverine to get it released.

Next, you will be required to verify 2 kinds of ID documents such as a passport and a driving licence at the Operation Wolverine Headquarters. 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 Greater Manchester 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 Operation Wolverine 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 £150 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) + £150 = £210 to get it released from the vehicle pound. These vehicle release fees and storage charges are set under The Road Traffic Act 1998 (Retention and Disposal of Seized Motor Vehicles).

You should pay your Rochdale Parking PCN online before collecting the vehicle from the pound at the Operation Wolverine Headquarters. But even if you just have £150 or £210 with you (for leaving your vehicle in the pound for up to 3 days), you can still pay the amount at the vehicle pound and claim your vehicle. It is more important to collect your vehicle from Operation Wolverine 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.

As you will have to pay your Rochdale Parking PCN within 14 days when you are recovering your impounded vehicle, it will cost you only £35. 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 at Operation Wolverine you will have to pay £140 extra storage charges.

Once you contact the Greater Manchester Police by dialling 101 and tell them your vehicle registration number you will be guided to Operation Wolverine for recovering your impounded vehicle. 

You will have to make the payment to release your vehicle from Operation Wolverine by visiting the location in person with at least £200 in cash or available as credit on your payment card. The Greater Manchester Police accepts Visa Card, Master Card, Maestro Card, and Solo Card for the payment of vehicle release and storage charges.

Operation Wolverine is located at this address :

Eccles Police Station,

Gorton Street,

Eccles,

Greater Manchester,

M30 7LZ

You can visit Operation Wolverine at any time between 9:00 am and 04:30 pm from Monday to Friday and from 8:30 am to 11:30 am on Saturday. Staff from the Greater Manchester 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). After all these documents have been verified by the Greater Manchester Police staff, your vehicle seizure notice will be stamped to authorise the release of the vehicle.

You need to go to Operation Wolverine with a cash payment or payment card for payment of vehicle release charges and any vehicle storage expenses (incurred by the vehicle pound). Next, you need to pay the required charges and your vehicle is free. 

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 sold by the Greater Manchester Police

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Rochdale PCN?” You should not be disheartened if a well formulated appeal is rejected by Rochdale Council as you can dispute the “Notice of Rejection” at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal by creating another appeal. It is essential for you to free your impounded vehicle from the Greater Manchester Police within 28 days, otherwise it will be crushed or sold.

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