This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge A Woodlands PCN?” A Woodlands PCN challenge can only be submitted online, which requires using evidence documents and photographs in their digital form to support your appeal.This blog contains detailed instructions on how you can recover your impounded vehicle from the custody of the Durham Police.

How Can I Challenge A Woodlands PCN?

Woodland Parish Council is a part of Durham County Council, which is the administrative division responsible for enforcing Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contraventions in Woodland Parish Council. The CCTV cameras and Civil Enforcement Officers of the Durham County Council observe the parking zones, streets, and roads of Woodland Parish Council for catching any breach of contravention codes enforced in the council. 

So you have to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice handed to you in Woodland Parish Council by filling in the online formal representation form on the Durham County Council website. The Durham County Council will decide the result of your PCN appeal and either cancel your Penalty Charge Notice or send you a Notice of Rejection. 

Whether you are challenging a Parking PCN, Bus Lane PCN or Moving Traffic PCN it is essential for you to recall the circumstances leading to the traffic violation and to attach authentic evidence material to justify the grounds of your challenge. Any assertions that you make should be within the acceptable grounds for appealing the relevant contravention code (you can check these reasons by typing the code in a search engine) and must not involve any reasons which indicate a lack of awareness of the restriction in place.

So as you knew about the contravention code enforced at the specific location, you can only challenge your PCN by mentioning genuine mitigating circumstances such as a serious health condition or by clearly showing that the contravention never took place (which can only be done by attaching photographs or video clips showing that your vehicle did not breach the restriction).

It is essential to collect and preserve video clips of your road trips in Woodland Parish Council for using them as evidence in case you are charged with a Penalty Charge Notice. These videos can be filmed by a friend or family member travelling with you. The camera’s focus 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. 

Without these recordings as proof of your attempts to avoid the traffic violation or to show that the contravention never occurred, it can be next to impossible to register any such grounds for a 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.

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

Yes, you can only challenge a Woodlands PCN on the Durham County Council’s official website.

A PCN served in Woodland Parish Council can be challenged by sending your written formal representation to the Durham County Council or by registering a PCN appeal on the Durham County Council website. Woodland Parish Council is a part of Durham County Council and the Durham County Council is responsible for serving and dealing with Penalty Charge Notices in the Parish Council. The Durham County Council will also decide the result of your PCN challenge and will either choose to withdraw your PCN or send you a Notice of Rejection of Representations.

You need to brainstorm reasons to challenge a Woodlands 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 the Durham County Council. You need to visit the Durham County 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. 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. 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 Durham County 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 Durham County 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 the Woodlands Parish Council you need to call 101 to ask the Durham Constabulary 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 Durham Constabulary staff and in case your vehicle has been towed away you will have to visit the Durham Constabulary Police Headquarters to get it released.

At the Durham Constabulary Police Headquarters you will 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 Durham Constabulary under Section 165 A or the Road Traffic Act 1988 due to a violation of your driving license rules. You must remember to contact the Vehicle Recovery Office to obtain details of how to recover your impounded vehicle within 7 days of the date mentioned on your form 3078. The Durham Constabulary employs a number of professional vehicle recovery firms for storing its seized vehicles and will inform you once you call 101 on where to receive your vehicle.  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 Woodlands Parking PCN online before visiting the Durham Constabulary Police Headquarters. 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 for getting your vehicle released before you pay the PCN fine. It is more important to collect your vehicle from the Durham Constabulary’s Vehicle Recovery Operator 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 Woodlands 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 Durham Constabulary Police Headquarters by dialling 0191 375 2081 and tell them your vehicle registration number or write to the Durham Constabulary at their postal address you will be guided to the location where your vehicle is being stored. You can write a letter mentioning your Vehicle Registration Number and the location where you last saw your vehicle and post it to this address:

The CVRS Manager,

Durham Constabulary,

Police HQ,

Aykley Heads,

Durham,

DH11 5TT

You will have to make the payment to release your vehicle from the vehicle recovery operator by visiting the location in person with at least £200 in cash or available as credit on your payment card. Durham Police’s Vehicle Recovery Operator accepts Visa Card, Master Card, and Maestro Card for the payment of vehicle release and storage charges. You can also make the payment in cash.

The Durham Constabulary Police Headquarters is located at this address :

Durham Police Constabulary Headquarters,

Aykley Heads,

Durham,

DH1 5TT

You can call the Durham Police Headquarters at any time between 08:00 am and 04:00 pm from Monday to Friday to inquire about where and how to recover your impounded vehicle. Staff from the Durham Constabulary will be available to address your queries. You will be requested to visit the Durham Constabulary’s designated Vehicle Recovery Operator’s premises for collecting your vehicle and for paying all the necessary charges.

Before this you need to visit Durham Police Headquarters to verify your vehicle registration and ID Documents. You should have your passport (or V5C), 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 Durham Constabulary staff has verified all these documents, your vehicle seizure notice will be stamped to authorise the release of the vehicle. The stamped vehicle seizure notice needs to be taken to the Vehicle Recovery Operator mentioned on your form 3078 for collecting your vehicle.

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

How Can I Pay a PCN in the Woodland Parish Council?

You can pay a PCN in Woodland Parish Council on the Durham County Council’s online payments page or by calling on the Durham County Council’s automated payments hotline.

If you prefer to make your PCN fine payment online, you can visit the Durham County 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 Durham County 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 Woodlands PCN eliminates any possibility for challenging the Penalty Charge Notice.

Your Woodlands PCN can also be paid by calling on the telephone payments service. You have to dial 0330 0884 785 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.

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

A Parking PCN in the Woodland Parish 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 Woodland Parish 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 Woodlands 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 Woodland Parish Council. Per your driving license rules, you are bound to abide by Parking, Bus Lane, and Moving Traffic contravention codes in the Woodland Parish Council.

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

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Durham County 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 Durham County 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 Durham County 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 Durham County 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 Durham County Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge A Woodlands PCN?” A formal representation needs to be carefully formulated, after taking into account every single factor which influenced your breach of the relevant (bus lane or moving traffic) restriction in the Woodland Parish Council. Your appeal basically serves to bring to the attention of the Parking Services Officer, authentic evidence or background details relating to the Parking, Bus Lane or moving traffic contravention that the CCTV or human observer might have missed while serving the PCN.

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