This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Wandsworth PCN?” As a Wandsworth PCN can only be challenged by using the Wandsworth Borough Council website, you should have evidence material relating to your road journeys, readily available on your computer. The blog contains detailed instructions on how to recover your impounded vehicle from the custody of the Metropolitan Police.

How Can I Challenge A Wandsworth PCN?

You can only challenge a Wandsworth PCN on the Wandsworth Borough Council website and this means that you can easily prepare for it by saving scanned copies of your pay and display tickets, medical certificates (as evidence of mitigating circumstances) and maintaining a regularly updated video log of your road trips in the council in a separate folder on your computer.. All these articles of evidence can be used to support your formal representation to a Parking PCN, a Bus Lane PCN or a Moving Traffic PCN. If you don’t do this then you will miss out on saving any proof of the specific traffic violation incident as the moment just lasts for a few minutes and after that all the evidence is gone (especially for Bus Lane and moving traffic PCNs).

You need to think about the scene of your traffic violation, and ascertain if you can recall any mitigating circumstances such as avoiding a collision with an oncoming vehicle or if you remember any specific actions you took to steer your vehicle away from the danger zone. All these thoughts and mental pictures need to be properly supported by authentic evidence material which can only be a video recording of the incident, which shows you driving the vehicle and describing (through words) how you are trying to move your vehicle in the correct direction.

If you go through the video clip and find that you managed to avoid breaching the traffic contravention, you can mention this as a grounds for your Wandsworth PCN challenge and upload the video as evidence. You need to make sure that your recording’s date stamp matches with the date and time of your traffic violation and that the original video recording is transferred onto your computer first. This video clip may be edited for reducing its size if you wish to do so.

Before accessing the online 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.

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 Transport for London.

If you don’t challenge a PCN, you should pay the fine within 28 days, otherwise, its amount will increase by 50%. A £130 PCN will be worth £203 (and a £110 PCN will be worth £173)  if you pay it in the 14 days after receiving your charge certificate.

Can I Only Challenge A Wandsworth PCN on the official website?

Yes, you can only challenge a Wandsworth PCN by filling in the online formal representation form on the Wandsworth Borough Council’s official website.

You need to brainstorm reasons to challenge a Wandsworth 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 Wandsworth Borough Council. You need to visit the Wandsworth Borough Council website to submit a formal representation to your PCN. You have to open this webpage to enter your PCN number and your Vehicle Registration Number. You need to click on “Submit”  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 Wandsworth Borough 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 Wandsworth Borough Council (by mixing up the contraventions) or reasons which involve forgetfulness to justify your actions, you can submit the formal representation.

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

If your vehicle has been towed away from Wandsworth Borough Council you need to call 101 to ask the Metropolitan 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 Metropolitan police staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit the Charlton or Perivale vehicle pound to get it released. 

At the Charlton or Perivale pound, you will first be required to verify 2 kinds of ID documents such as a passport and a driving licence. 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 Metropolitan Police under Section 165 A of 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 £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. This vehicle release and storage charges are set under The Road Traffic Act 1998 (Retention and Disposal of Seized Motor Vehicles).

Your area in the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police is known as “Isleworth” and the nearest Police Station in Wandsworth Council is Twickenham Police Station. But you need to directly visit the Charlton or Perivale vehicle pound in order to verify your vehicle insurance and registration documents as well as your ID documents. These vehicle pounds are also run by the Metropolitan Police.

You should pay your Wandsworth Parking PCN online before collecting the vehicle from the pound at Chalton or Perivale. But even if you just have £162 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 the Metropolitan Police pound than to pay your Parking  PCN fine because storage fees of £20 are being added every day and your vehicle will no longer be in the vehicle pound after 28 days.

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.

The 2 vehicle pounds which the Metropolitan Police use for storing impounded vehicles are the Charlton and Perivale pounds. Once you contact the Metropolitan Police by dialling 101 and tell them your vehicle registration number you will be guided to either the Charlton Pound or the Perivale Pound for recovering your impounded vehicle.

You will have to make the payment to release your vehicle from the vehicle pound at Charlton or Perivale by visiting the location in person with £150 in cash or available as credit on your payment card. The Metropolitan Police accepts Visa Card, Master Card, Maestro Card, and Solo Card for the payment of vehicle release and storage charges.

You should have any 2 ID Documents such as your passport and driving license, a copy of form 3078, your vehicle’s MOT certificate, and your vehicle registration certificate (if this is not your ID document). After the Metropolitan 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 Charlton or Perivale Vehicle pound 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).

This Charlton pound is located at this address :

Bramshot Avenue,

Charlton,

London,

SE7 7HY

If you are travelling by road, you can reach Bramshot Avenue via the pedestrian underpass from Siegbert Road or get to Bramshot Avenue from Eastcombe avenue instead. The nearest railway stations from Bramshot Avenue are Charlton railway station and Westcombe Park railway station. The nearest London Underground Station is the North Greenwich Underground station by Jubilee Line.

The nearest bus routes from Bramshot Avenue are :

  • Bus Route 53, from Plumstead to County Hall. It has a stop at Woolwich Road, where you should get off the bus.
  • Bus Route 54, from Elmers End Interchange to Plumstead Road.
  • Bus Route 108 from Stratford International to Levisham Road
  • Bus Route 202 from Crystal Palace Parade to Blackheath/Royal Standard
  • Bus Route 286 from Queen Mary’s Hospital (Main Entrance) to Greenwich Tower Centre / Cutty Sark
  • Bus Route 380 from Belmarsh Prison to Molesworth Street. It has a stop at Bramshot Avenue
  • Bus Route 386 from Woolwich High Street to Royal Parade
  • Bus Route 422 from North Greenwich Station to Bexleyheath Clock Tower

You can visit the pound at any time between 11:30 am and 7:30 pm. The Charlton Vehicle pound is open 7 days a week. The £110 or £55 Parking PCN fine has to be paid the way a regular Kingston PCN is paid before you make your visit to your vehicle pound.

The Perivale pound is located at this address:

Walmgate Road,

Perivale,

Greenford

UB6 7LR

If you are travelling by road the only entrance to Perivale Pound is on Walmgate Road. The nearest railway station from Walmgate Road is South Greenford. The nearest London Underground Station is Perivale Underground Station, located on the West Ruislip branch of the Central Line. 

The nearest bus routes from Walmgate road are Bus Route 95 from Southall Broadway to Shepherd’s Bush Green and Bus Route 297 from Pounds Lane/Willesden Bus Garage to Ealing Broadway Station/ Haven Green (Bus Route 297 has a stop at Perivale Station).

You can visit the Perivale Pound at any time between 11:30 am and 7:30 pm. The Perivale Vehicle pound is open 7 days a week. Staff from the Metropolitan Police will be available at the pound to address your queries, to verify all your essential documents and for receiving the vehicle release fee (and any storage charges).

You can also keep a checklist with you to make sure that you don’t forget any documents at home, your vehicle will not be handed over before all these required documents have been checked. Your checklist consists of the 2 ID Documents mentioned earlier in this section, a copy of form 3078, your PCN (for parking the vehicle unattended), your vehicle’s MOT certificate, and your vehicle registration certificate (if this is not your ID document).

The Metropolitan Police only stores impounded vehicles for a maximum of 28 days. If you wish to dispose of your vehicle you should not get it released from the vehicle pound. You will still have to pay the Parking PCN fine within 28 days. The Metropolitan Police does not charge you anything for disposing of your vehicle

You must remember to recover your vehicle from the custody of the Metropolitan Police before the 28th day. If you leave your vehicle at the Charlton or Perivale pounds for more than 28 days, it might be scrapped or sold by the Metropolitan Police.

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

The 3 kinds of PCNs served in Wandsworth Borough Council are a Parking PCN, a Bus Lane PCN, and a Moving Traffic PCN.

The Penalty Charge Notice fine for a Wandsworth Parking PCN is set at £130 for a higher level PCN or £80 for a lower level PCN. You will be paying either £130 or £80 depending on your level of traffic offence.

There is a 50% discount applicable to both the PCNs. If you pay the higher level Parking PCN fine within 14 days, it reduces to £65. Similarly, with the 50% discount, the low-level PCN fine reduces to £40 if you pay the lower level fine within 21 days.

For a Bus Lane or moving traffic PCN, the payable amount is £130 if paid within 28 days. If you pay a Bus Lane PCN or a moving traffic PCN within 14 days, you only have to pay £65

These charges apply to the 3 kinds of PCNs you can be given on Band A roads in Wandsworth Borough Council, Band B roads have a £110 fine for a higher level Parking PCN and a £60 fine for a lower level PCN. Bus Lane and moving traffic PCNs are also charged at the higher level traffic violation rate of £110.

There is also a 50% discount (given certain conditions) on the PCNs served on Band B roads in the Wandsworth Borough Council If a higher level PCN issued on Band B roads is paid within 14 days, it will cost you just £55. You will need to pay £30 if you pay a lower-level Band B Road parking PCN within 21 days. 

If a Bus Lane PCN or moving traffic PCN served on a Band B road in the Wandsworth Borough Council is paid within 14 days, it will be a £55 fine.

How Can I Pay my Wandsworth PCN fine?

You can pay your Wandsworth PCN on the online payments page, by sending a check or postal order through the mail, or by calling the Wandsworth Borough Council’s automated payments hotline.

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Wandsworth Borough Council website. On this page, you need to click on “Make Payment” to access the Wandsworth PCN database login. In the window which opens up you can enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number and click on “Submit”. In the next step of paying your PCN, you need to enter your payment card details to complete the online payment process. Wandsworth Borough Council accepts Visa, Mastercard, Maestro Card and Delta Card for PCN payments.

You might want to call on Wandsworth Borough Council’s automated payments hotline to pay your PCN.  For this, you have to call on 0800 021 7763. On the call you will need to enter your PCN number and your 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.

You can also pay your Wandsworth PCN by sending a check or postal order payable to “Wandsworth 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 on the back. This payment needs to be sent to:

Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) Payments,

Wandsworth Council (Payments),

PO Box 521,

Twickenham,

TW1 9PJ

What will happen if I don’t pay my Wandsworth 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 Wandsworth Borough Council. As per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes in Wandsworth Borough Council.

If you neither pay your Wandsworth PCN within 28 days nor decide to appeal against it, you will be sent a charge certificate from Transport for London. The charge certificate increases your PCN fine by 50%, which means you will be paying £195 (or £120) 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 Wandsworth Borough Council.

You will be sent a “Notice of Debt Registration” and a witness certificate from Transport for London 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. At this stage £8 is added as the charges for registering your debt at the Northampton County Court, so you have to pay £203 (or £128 for a lower level Parking PCN).

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 Wandsworth PCN with the London Tribunals if the Wandsworth Borough Council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute a Wandsworth PCN with the Traffic Adjudicators at London Tribunals within 28 days of getting your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” from the council. You have to fill in the form provided to you with the Notice of Rejection and mail it to this postal address:

London Tribunals,

PO Box 10598,

Nottingham,

NG6 6DR

 You can also choose to dispute the “Notice of Rejection” from your council with the London Tribunals online by clicking on the “Access the Appellants Portal” button on this webpage. All you will be required to do is simply enter your Vehicle Registration Number, PCN number, and the reference number or code from your “Notice of Rejection of Representations” letter.

You can attach copies of evidence documents online to back up your appeal against the decision of the Wandsworth Borough Council. Such evidence may also include a signed and dated written statement describing what happened on the scene according to the viewpoint of a bystander.

London Tribunals will notify both you and the Wandsworth Borough Council of the hearing date. If the Wandsworth Borough Council contests your appeal, it will provide you with a copy of its application along with the evidence sent by it to the Traffic Adjudicators at London Tribunals. In case the independent parking and traffic adjudicator decides the case in your favour, the Wandsworth Borough Council will promptly withdraw the PCN.

If the PCN is cancelled at this stage, you will have to pay nothing. If the London Tribunals decide the case in the council’s favour, you will be given another 28 days to pay the PCN fine.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Wandsworth PCN?” As a driver you need to be aware of Parking Zone, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes enforced in Wandsworth Borough Council and create a mental map by linking each code with the location where it is enforced (the relevant codes will show up in your head whenever you drive by the road junction or enter a parking zone). Once you preemptively eliminate any reasons indicating forgetfulness for your traffic violation, you can only end up with a PCN which can easily be challenged by mentioning your mitigating circumstances or simply by showing that the contravention didn’t occur.