This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Winchester PCN?”  Your PCN challenge should either convince the Winchester City Council that the contravention never occurred or that it occurred as a result of unforeseen mitigating circumstances which affected your driving abilities. If you have evidence to show that you have not breached a certain Parking Zone, Bus Lane, or Moving Traffic restriction you can attach it with your formal representation to get your Winchester PCN cancelled.

How Can I Challenge A Winchester PCN?

You can submit a formal representation to your Winchester PCN on the council website. The quality of the text of your PCN appeal is what matters most, as well as the relevance and authenticity of evidence material uploaded with your PCN challenge. You can ensure that you have the right kind of evidence to support your case by preserving used pay and display tickets, paid PCN fines, any medical reports about your health conditions and video recordings of your road journeys in Winchester City Council. 

The video footage of your vehicle’s movement through areas with moving traffic and bus lane restrictions in place is the most important piece of evidence to collect beforehand. Other evidence documents can be easily recovered from your possession and uploaded onto your computer within a day or two. So unless you designate another person travelling regularly with you to film these video clips or remember to use the assistance of a passenger in your vehicle for creating these recordings, you will not have any proof to suggest that a traffic contravention never occurred. 

If you wish to attach evidence for mitigating circumstances to challenge a Winchester PCN such as medical certificates to prove a serious health condition which influenced your driving actions and led to the traffic violation, you can connect the symptoms of the disease to being unable to properly brake or steer your vehicle (as your limbs were incapacitated). Some photographs or a video to show how you actually go through these events can further strengthen your case, although one piece of authentic evidence should be enough.

It is essential for you to compile a strong appeals case before sending in your formal representation so as to avoid being served a “Notice of Rejection of Representations”, which means the Winchester City Council has denied your PCN appeal. 

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 Winchester PCN?

You can submit a formal representation to your Winchester PCN by writing a letter addressed to the Winchester City Council or by filling in the online formal representation form on the official website..

You need to brainstorm reasons to challenge a Winchester 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 Winchester City Council. You need to visit the Winchester City 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. This payments and appeals service has the same account so you must be careful not to click on the PCN payment option after you log in

It is essential to upload authentic evidence material with your PCN challenge to describe your mitigating circumstances to the Winchester City Council and for explaining your point of view of the events which took place at the traffic violation scene. If you made a video clip of your traffic contravention, you should save snapshots from it by using a video player or video editing software. Most video players such as VLC player allow you to slow down your video frame by frame and thus take ( a collection of) snapshots to attach with your Winchester City PCN challenge.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 the Winchester City 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 Winchester PCN (CCTV Bus Lane PCN or a Parking PCN served by a CEO which had to be delivered by post) by writing an email to parkingappeals@winchester.gov.uk. You have to mention your email address, Vehicle Registration Number and PCN number clearly in the correspondence. You can also write down your DVLA postal address mentioned on your vehicle registration (V5C) certificate.

The informal representation must put forward a legitimate appeals case which includes acceptable mitigating circumstances or indicates that you have evidence which clearly shows that the contravention never happened. Once you are sure that you have constructed a strong appeals case to make the council grant you a formal representation, you can submit your form. The informal appeals stage is applicable to PCNs sent by post.

Another way to send in your Winchester PCN challenge is by mail. You can write down a formal representation on paper and attach evidence documents or photographs to the form 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. 

Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

Winchester City Council,

Parking Services

City Offices,

Colebrook Street,

Winchester,

SO23 9LJ

On which grounds can I challenge a Winchester City Council Bus  Lane CCTV PCN?

You can challenge a Bus Lane CCTV PCN from the Winchester City Council on the following grounds :

  • You did not enter a bus lane during operational hours and the CCTV has wrongly charged you with a PCN as you were just trying to access premises next to the bus lane. Contravention code 34 J.
  • You did not ignore or disregard a “no entry” sign for a bus lane, the contravention code 51 J needs to be mentioned, before proving that the violation didn’t happen. 
  • Your vehicle was not parked in a bus lane during its operational hours. Contravention code 34M or 34 F.

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

A Parking PCN in Winchester City 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 Winchester City 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

How Can I Pay my Winchester PCN fine?

You can pay your Winchester PCN on the online payments page, in person by visiting, by sending a check or postal order through the mail or by calling the Winchester City Council’s automated payments hotline.

If you choose to make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Winchester City Council website. You can enter your PCN number and Vehicle Registration Number on this webpage to initiate your PCN fine payment. In the next step of paying your PCN, you need to enter your payment card details to complete the online payment process. Winchester City Council accepts Visa, Mastercard, Maestro Card and Delta Card for PCN payments.

You might want to call on the Winchester City Council’s automated payments hotline.  For this you have to call on 01962 848 512. 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 Winchester PCN by sending a check or postal order payable to “Winchester City 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,

Winchester City Council,

City Offices,

Colebrook Street,

Winchester,

Hants,

SO23 9LJ

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

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

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Winchester City 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 Winchester City 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 Winchester City 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 Winchester City 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 Winchester City Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Winchester PCN?”  You need to create a habit of preserving your used parking permits, recording daily videos of your road journeys in Winchester City Council and keeping scanned copies of medical certificates relating to any serious health condition you might be experiencing. You can only have this evidence with you to upload with your formal representation if you regularly maintain a folder on your computer with data relating to your driving actions and mitigating circumstances.