This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Sefton PCN?” You need to be aware of all the Parking, Bus Lane and Moving traffic contraventions enforced on all the locations in Sefton Council which form a part of your daily road journeys. This blog explains the procedure for recovering your impounded vehicle from the custody of the Merseyside Police.. 

How Can I Challenge A Sefton PCN?

If you prefer to submit a formal representation to your Sefton PCN on the council website it is essential for you to maintain a folder on your computer with photos or video footage of your daily road journeys, especially of your turns at road junctions (and the position of your vehicle in a parking space). 

It is essential to collect and preserve video clips of your road trips in Sefton Council for using them as evidence in case you are charged with a Penalty Charge Notice. Without this evidence, you cannot claim that a traffic contravention never occurred or try to explain to the council that you (were aware of and had) attempted to prevent the traffic violation at the last moment. These videos can be filmed by a friend or family member travelling with you.

 The camera’s focus in the recording should be on the front of your vehicle and on your actions to steer or apply the brakes to the car at a road junction. The audio part of the recording can also prove your active efforts to steer your vehicle in the correct direction or to explain any reasons why you drove in the wrong direction, such as to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle.

All of these circumstances which are shown by using authentic evidence uploaded with your formal representation will be actively considered by the Sefton Council when deciding the result of your PCN challenge.

It is essential that you formulate a strong appeals case before submitting your formal representation to the Sefton Council so that you don’t end up with a Notice of Rejection of Representations from the council (which implies that your appeal has been refused).

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 Sefton PCN?

You can submit a formal representation to your Sefton PCN by writing a letter addressed to Sefton Council, sending in your PCN challenge by email and by filling in the online formal representation form on the website..

You need to begin to brainstorm for reasons to challenge a Sefton 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 Sefton Council. You need to visit the Sefton Council website to submit a formal representation to your PCN. You have to open this webpage to enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number. You need to click on “Search”  to view your PCN details before filling in the online appeals form.

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

Once you have proofread your appeal to eliminate any reasons for your challenge which might convey a disregard for traffic contravention codes enforced in Sefton 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 Sefton PCN challenge is by mail. You can write down a formal representation on paper 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. 

Evidence to support your formal representation can be attached to the form by using a stapler or paper clip. Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Parking Services,

PO Box 225,

Bootle,

L20 3WD

You can also send in your Sefton PCN appeal by writing an email to parkingcc@sefton.gov.uk.  This email must mention your email address, your PCN number, your vehicle registration number, your name, address and telephone number. Evidence material should be properly uploaded as attachments to your email. 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.

If Sefton 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.

How Can I Pay a PCN in Sefton Council?

You can pay a PCN in Sefton Council on the online payments page, by sending a check or postal order through the mail or by calling on the Sefton Council automated payments hotline.

If you prefer to make your PCN fine payment online, you can visit the Sefton Council website. After opening this webpage, you need to enter your PCN number and vehicle registration number and click on “Search”. Your PCN details will be displayed and you can also view CCTV evidence relating to your case before paying your PCN

For paying your PCN you will be asked for your payment card details. The Sefton Council accepts Mastercard, Visa Card, Maestro Card and Visa Electron card for PCN fine payments. Diners card and American Express card are not accepted for making PCN payments. Once you have entered the credit or debit card information you can proceed to paying your fine. It must be noted that paying your Sefton PCN eliminates any possibility for challenging the Penalty Charge Notice.

Your Sefton PCN can also be paid by calling on the telephone payments service. You have to dial 0151 934 4697 and enter your PCN number by using a * sign for the letters in the code. After this you will have to enter your payment card details. This automated payments service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should wait to receive a confirmation code before ending your call.

You can also pay your Sefton PCN by sending a check or postal order payable to “Sefton Council”. You also need to attach the payment slip in your “Notice To Owner” document to this payment. The check or postal order should have your PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number written at the back. This payment needs to be sent to:

Parking Services,

PO Box 225,

Bootle,

L20 3WD

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

If your vehicle has been towed away from Sefton Council you need to call 101 to ask the Merseyside 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 Merseyside Police staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit the St. Anne Street Police Station 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 vehicle pound. 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 Merseyside 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 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 £200 release fee and storage charges of £20 per day.

So for example if your vehicle was towed away by a parking company 5 days ago, you will need (£20×5) + £200 = £400 to get it released from the vehicle pound. This vehicle release and storage charges are set under The Road Traffic Act 1998 (Retention and Disposal of Seized Motor Vehicles).

You should pay your Sefton Parking PCN online before visiting the St. Anne Street Police Station. But even if you just have £400 with you (for leaving your vehicle in the pound for up to 5 days), you can still pay the amount at the St. Anne Street Police Station to get your vehicle released before you pay the PCN fine. It is more important to collect your vehicle from the St. Anne Street Police Station, before paying 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.

You will have to pay your Sefton Parking PCN within 14 days when you recover your impounded vehicle, which 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 in the pound you will have to pay £140 extra storage charges.

Once you contact the Merseyside Police by dialling 101 and tell them your vehicle registration number you will be guided to the St. Anne Street Police Station for recovering your impounded vehicle. Merseyside Police has its police stations located at Huyton, Ganworth Street (Liverpool), St. Helens, St. Anne Street, and Southport (Police Station).

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

St Anne Street Police Station is located at this address :

St. Anne Street Police Station,

St. Anne Street,

Liverpool,

L3 3HJ

You can visit St. Anne Police Station at any time between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. St. Anne Street Police station is also open on Sundays from 08:00 am to 5:00 pm. Staff from the Merseyside Police will be available at the pound to address your queries and for receiving the payment for 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 the Merseyside Police staff has verified all these documents, your vehicle seizure notice will be stamped to authorise the release of the vehicle.

You need to go to the St. Anne Street Police Station 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 visit the St. Anne Street Police Station to make the payment for getting your vehicle released.

 You must remember to recover your vehicle from the custody of the Merseyside Police before the 14th day. If you leave your vehicle at the St. Anne Street Police Station for more than 14 days, it might be crushed or sold.

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

A Parking PCN in the Sefton 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 Sefton 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 Sefton 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 Sefton 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 Sefton 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 Sefton 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 Sefton PCN with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if the Sefton Council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Sefton 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 Sefton 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 Sefton 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 Sefton 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 Sefton Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Sefton PCN?”  Each reason for challenging your Sefton PCN must be backed by specific evidence from the scene of the traffic violation which can also include a written statement from a bystander who was present at the location. The only substitute to this for proving what actually happened on the spot where you were issued the PCN is authentic video footage of the incident, filmed by someone travelling with you.  

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