This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Swindon PCN?” The blog stresses on the importance of preserving your parking permits and of compiling a series of video recordings of your road journeys in Swindon Council to be used as evidence in your formal representation. This blog contains detailed instruction on recovering your impounded vehicle from the custody of the Wiltshire Police.

How Can I Challenge A Swindon PCN?

You need to begin brainstorming reasons to challenge a Swindon 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 Swindon PCN appeal in the form of video footage of the traffic violation, medical certificates explaining your mitigating circumstances or pay and display tickets. Your formal representation case can be built around evidence of your mitigating circumstances or video recordings of the traffic contravention scene showing that you didn’t breach the relevant code.

The evidence must be matched with the grounds for your appeal before describing the incident from your point of view.  Video recordings used as evidence should also preferably be showing your attempts to avoid the moving traffic or bus lane contravention by steering your vehicle in the correct direction. You can first state how your vehicle approached the road junction or turning and then provide an acceptable explanation of what happened there.

Your rough formal representation can be edited for clarity multiple times before it is ready to attach with your online PCN appeals form.  If you don’t make an effort to collect video clips showing your bus lane and moving traffic driving actions, it is next to impossible to prove to the Swindon Borough Council that the traffic contravention never occurred (and you actually kept your vehicle moving along the correct path).

Similarly, if there are no paid parking permits or (parking camera) videos showing your vehicle being parked properly in its designated space, you cannot successfully challenge your Parking PCN by mentioning that the traffic contravention never happened.

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 Swindon PCN?

You need to begin your 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 photo 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 Swindon PCN challenge.

You need to visit the Swindon Borough Council website to submit a formal representation to your PCN. You can also open this webpage and click on “Representation” to open a new window.  Here you can enter your PCN number, Vehicle Registration Number and a web code mentioned on your Penalty Charge Notice before clicking on “Continue” to view your PCN details. 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 Swindon 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 Swindon 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 Swindon Borough Council (by mixing up the contraventions) or reasons which involve forgetfulness to justify your actions, you can submit the formal representation.

You can also submit an informal representation to your Swindon 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.

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.

Another way to send in your Swindon 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. 

You should remember to still view your PCN details online (by entering your PCN number and vehicle registration number) before writing your Swindon PCN appeal. Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Service Manager Parking,

Swindon Borough Council,

Civic Offices,

Euclid Street,

Swindon,

SN1 2JH

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

If your vehicle has been towed away from Swindon Borough Council you need to call 101 to ask the Wiltshire 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 Wiltshire Police staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit the Swindon GableCross 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 Swindon GableCross Police Station. 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 Wiltshire 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 Swindon GableCross Police Station 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 Swindon Parking PCN online before visiting the Swindon Gable Cross 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 Swindon GableCross Police Station to get your vehicle released before you pay the PCN fine. It is more important to collect your vehicle from the Swindon GableCross 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 Swindon 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 Wiltshire Police by dialling 101 and tell them your vehicle registration number you will be guided to the Swindon GableCross Police Station for recovering your impounded vehicle. The Wiltshire Police has its police stations located at Swindon, Trowbridge and Salisbury.

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

The Swindon GableCross Police Station is located at this address :

Swindon GableCross Police Station,

Gablecross,

Shrivenham Road,

South Marston,

Swindon,

Wiltshire,

SN3 4RB

You can visit the Swindon GableCross Police Station at any time between 8:30 am and 05:30 pm from Monday to Friday. Swindon GableCross Police station is also open on Saturdays from 08:30 am to 1:00 pm. Staff from the Wiltshire Police will be available at the police station to address your queries and for receiving the payment for vehicle release fees and storage 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 Wiltshire Police staff has verified all these documents, your vehicle seizure notice will be stamped to authorise the release of the vehicle.

You also need to go to the Swindon GableCross Police Station with a cash payment or payment card for making the payment of vehicle release fees and any vehicle storage expenses (incurred by the vehicle pound).

You must remember to recover your vehicle from the custody of the Wiltshire Police before the 14th day. If you leave your vehicle at the Swindon GableCross Police Station for more than 14 days, it might be scrapped or sold by the Wiltshire Police.

How Can I Pay my Swindon PCN fine?

You can pay a Swindon PCN by visiting the online payments webpage, or by calling on the Swindon Borough Council’s automated payments hotline.

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Swindon Borough Council website. On this page you need to click on “Pay your Parking Fine Online ” You need to enter your PCN Number and Vehicle Registration Number here to pay your Swindon PCN. You should click on continue, once you have entered these details. After this you just have to enter your payment card details to complete the PCN payment. Swindon Borough Council accepts Mastercard, Visa Card, Maestro Card, Solo Card and Visa Electron card for PCN fine payments. Diners card and American Express card are not accepted for making PCN payments. 

You might want to call on Swindon Borough Council’s automated payments hotline to pay your PCN.  For this you have to call on 01793 464 600. On the call you will need to enter your PCN number and payment card details. 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 Swindon Borough Council?

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

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

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

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Swindon PCN” You must film video clips of your road journeys in Swindon Borough Council and save each day’s recording separately in a folder on your computer. This is the most compelling form of evidence which can be provided to successfully challenge a Swindon PCN. If you keep evidence material ready with you, you will consider a Penalty Charge Notice as an opportunity to prove your knowledge of (and respect for) traffic contraventions by constructing and sending in a strong PCN challenge. 

Citations

Wiltshire Police website

Swindon Borough Council website

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