This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Sandwell PCN?” Awareness of Parking, Bus Lane and Moving Traffic contravention codes being used at parking zones, bus lanes and road junctions across the council is mandatory to prepare for writing a formal representation. The blog mentions a list of the moving traffic contraventions enforced in Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

How Can I Challenge A Sandwell PCN?

A Sandwell PCN can only be challenged by using the formal representation form on the council website. Before accessing this form you should be certain of the grounds for your PCN appeal and prepare the text of your challenge on a word processing software such as MS Word. This will help you to eliminate any incorrect reasons for your challenge, which do not conform to the official language of the contravention code or have nothing to do with the traffic violation.

The relevant grounds for your appeal can then be matched with authentic evidence such as video footage showing your vehicle successfully avoiding a no-entry zone or not breaching a bus lane during its operational hours. The date stamp on the recording should match that of the CCTV video provided by the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council or the time frame of your alleged traffic violation.

Evidence of any genuine mitigating circumstances should be properly explained and related to your driving actions leading to the contravention. You should make sure that you have correctly uploaded all relevant evidence material with your formal representation before submitting the form.

If the Sandwell 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.

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.

Can I only challenge a Sandwell PCN on the official website?

Yes, you can only challenge a Sandwell PCN by using the formal representation form on the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough website.

You need to start to brainstorm reasons to challenge a Sandwell 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 Sandwell Council. You need to visit this webpage to challenge a Sandwell PCN. After opening this link, you need to enter your PCN number, vehicle registration number, and a web code mentioned on your PCN.

These details should be submitted by clicking “Continue”. After logging in to the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council PCN database, you can proceed to register your formal representation and upload evidence material backing your case.

You can also submit an informal representation to your Sandwell PCN (CCTV Bus Lane PCN or Parking PCN served by a CEO) by accessing your PCN details here. To access the form you need to enter your PCN number and vehicle registration number and click on “Continue”.

You have to fill out the informal representation form by typing your full name, email address, and the contents of your informal representation. Once you are sure that you have constructed a strong appeals case to make the council grant you a formal representation, you can send your form. The informal appeals stage is applicable to PCNs sent by post.

 Which moving traffic contravention codes are enforced in Sandwell Council? 

The following moving traffic contravention codes are enforced in Sandwell Council:

  • 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 Sandwell PCN?

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

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should open this page and click on “Pay a parking or bus lane fine online”. You will then see this page, where you have to select a “Bus Lane penalty”, “CCTV penalty” or “Parking fine” from the “What do you want to pay for?” dropdown menu. Once you have made your selection by looking at your PCN, a field for entering your PCN number will show up.

Here, you can enter your PCN number and click on “Next” to initiate your PCN fine payment. In the next step of paying your PCN, you need to enter your payment card details to pay your PCN.

You might want to call on the Sandwell Council’s automated payments hotline.  For this, you have to call on 0300 456 0514. 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.

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

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

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

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Sandwell Metropolitan 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 Sandwell Metropolitan 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 Sandwell 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 “Notice of Rejection of Representations” appeal should be submitted to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal within 28 days of receiving your Notification of Rejection from the Sandwell 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 Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Sandwell PCN?” You must exercise your right to appeal a Sandwell PCN which has been served unjustly or without accommodating your mitigating circumstances. All you have to do is logically formulate an appeal that conforms to the established grounds for making a representation to the Sandwell District Borough Council and attach authentic evidence material to back your assertions..

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