This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Suffolk PCN?” As a Suffolk PCN can only be challenged by using the East Suffolk council website, you should have evidence material relating to your road journeys, readily available on your computer. Your formal representation should display an awareness of the contravention code you have breached and explain your efforts to avoid committing the Parking, Bus Lane, or Moving Traffic violation.

How Can I Challenge A Suffolk PCN?

A Suffolk PCN appeal can only be submitted online on the East Suffolk Council website. So you should be prepared for writing this appeal by storing documents on your computer which can be used as evidence to challenge a Suffolk PCN. Such data might include scanned copies of pay and display tickets, scanned copies of your medical certificates which indicate a serious health condition, and video recordings of your road journeys in Suffolk County Council. 

Unless you make an effort to compile and save this precious evidence on your computer or laptop, it might be next to impossible to come up with authentic evidence within 14 to 28 days to upload with your formal representation. This fact needs to be emphasised because your PCN challenge is incomplete without evidence to demonstrate or justify the grounds of your formal representation. Whatever information you wish to communicate to the Suffolk County Council, must be supported by authentic evidence material, otherwise, it will not be considered.

Photo and video evidence generally works best to show all of the circumstances that were affecting your driving actions at the traffic violation scene of a Bus Lane or Moving Traffic PCN. This authentic uploaded or printed set of photographs from your digital camera should have a date stamp matching that of the CCTV evidence provided by the Suffolk Council. These video clips or photographs can be filmed by a passenger in your vehicle.

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. CCTV cameras and Civil Enforcement Officers observe traffic contraventions 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 Suffolk County Council PCN on the official website?

Yes, you can only challenge a Suffolk County Council PCN on the East Suffolk council’s official website.

You need to brainstorm reasons to challenge a Suffolk 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 East Suffolk Council. You need to visit the East Suffolk 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 East Suffolk Council and for explaining your point of view of the events which took place at 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 Suffolk County Council (by mixing up the contraventions) or reasons which involve forgetfulness to justify your actions, you can submit the formal representation.

For which traffic contraventions can I be served a Parking PCN in Suffolk County Council?

A Parking PCN is issued in Suffolk County Council for traffic violations including:

  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a prohibited street during prescribed hours. Vehicles are not allowed to park on yellow lines during prescribed hours except those driven by a blue badge holder (a person registered as disabled).
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a restricted street within 15 meters of a junction (on double yellow lines)
  • For a  vehicle that has been parked in violation of traffic cones in a street that has been closed off.
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a resident’s parking zone without having a valid parking permit or a valid pay and display ticket.
  • For a vehicle that has been parked in a resident’s parking zone (in the pay and display bay) following the expiry of a pay and display ticket. A pay and display ticket should be purchased for the entire duration of time you might have to park your vehicle in a particular spot. 

So if you might need to spend 20-30 minutes more you should probably choose a different parking ticket in the first place.

  • For a vehicle that has been left parked in any pay and display bay not clearly showing the parking ticket. The pay and display ticket should be properly visible to the CEO or CCTV camera watching the parking bay. A 5 minute observation period will be granted to fix the situation before issuing the PCN
  • For a vehicle that has been brought into and parked within the same parking bay within one hour or any other specified no return time limit (after leaving the parking area.)
  • For a vehicle that has not been parked entirely inside the markings of a parking bay and with one full wheel shown to be beyond the correct limits of a parking zone space.
  • For exceeding a vehicle parking ticket’s time limit by 10 minutes or more. Blue Badge or disabled parking holders are exempt from this rule
  • For being parked in a disabled person’s reserved parking space without clearly showing a blue badge
  • For a vehicle incorrectly parked in a mandatory cycle lane instead of being parked in a parking bay.
  • For a vehicle that has been left parked on any portion of or inside a school keep clear marking.
  • For a vehicle that has been left parked within a pedestrian zone. It also applies to a vehicle’s entry into a pedestrian zone, as vehicle entry is banned from these areas.
  • For vehicles that have been left parked on any portion of the footpath located adjacent to a pedestrian crossing.
  • For a vehicle that has failed to move out of a pedestrian crossing area in time or has been braked or brought to rest by a driver on a pedestrian crossing.

How can I pay my Suffolk PCN fine?

You should be aware of the fact that you can only pay your Suffolk PCN fine online. Your Suffolk PCN fine can be paid online on the East Suffolk Council’s official website (using Visa Card, Master Card, Direct Debit, or Maestro Card) This payment method saves time and is 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 Suffolk County Council. 

You need to enter your vehicle registration number and PCN number after opening the East Suffolk Council’s PCN viewer 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 Suffolk 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 Suffolk County Council?

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

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

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the East Suffolk 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 East Suffolk 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 East Suffolk 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 East Suffolk 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 East Suffolk Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Suffolk PCN?”  You have to prepare in advance for being handed a PCN and having to challenge it with the council by preserving evidence relating to your parking permits and by recording videos of your road trips. A strong appeals case backed by authentic evidence proving that the PCN was issued in error (or by overlooking your mitigating circumstances) will never go to waste as “A Notice of Rejection of Representations” from the East Suffolk Council can be disputed at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?