This blog serves to answer the question “How Can I Challenge An East Cornwall PCN?”  Actively collecting and preserving evidence such as video recordings filmed from inside your vehicle, copies of parking permits, or medical certificates to justify mitigating circumstances can save you the embarrassment of being unable to add any proof to back the grounds of your formal representation. This evidence forms the cornerstone of your East Cornwall PCN challenge and needs to be supported by a professionally worded explanation of your mitigating circumstances or a clear rejection of the charge which says that the contravention never occurred.

How Can I Challenge An East Cornwall PCN?

You can challenge an East Cornwall PCN by filling in the form on the reverse of your “Notice to Owner” and sending it to the Cornwall Council by mail, or by visiting the Cornwall Council website to submit a formal representation. You need to correctly recall the circumstances which led you to breach the relevant Parking, Bus Lane, or Moving Traffic restriction and attach authentic evidence to support your mitigating circumstances. Acceptable mitigating circumstances can be a serious health condition that prevented you from operating your vehicle correctly and resulted in a wrong turn or prevented you from avoiding a restricted street or bus lane.

Your health problem must have directly influenced your actions at the traffic violation scene and you also need to have medical certificates from a certified General Practitioner as evidence of the condition. These medical reports should be dated from a week or so before you were handed your Penalty Charge Notice. 

Your East Cornwall PCN appeal should not involve reasons which display a lack of urgency or seriousness on your part, to avoid committing the traffic contravention. If you want to avoid mistakes in your formal representation, you should save a list of the traffic contravention codes in the council classified by their location. This can be used to avoid the embarrassment of mentioning false grounds for your 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. 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.

What is the procedure for appealing against an East Cornwall PCN?

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

You need to brainstorm reasons to challenge an East Cornwall 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 Cornwall Council. You need to visit the Cornwall 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 “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 Cornwall Council and for explaining your point of view of the events which took place at the traffic violation scene. The maximum size of a file which can be uploaded as an attachment to support your Cornwall PCN challenge is 80Mb. So you should preferably shrink your files to around 70Mb to 75 Mb or below that so that they don’t get rejected. Most jpeg files are under 10 Mb to 20 Mb, even if they are high-definition digital camera photographs (to show your traffic violation scene in detail).

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 the VLC player allow you to slow down your video frame by frame and thus take ( a collection of) snapshots to attach with your Cornwall 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 East Cornwall 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 East Cornwall 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 parking.appeals@cornwall.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 that includes acceptable mitigating circumstances or indicates that you have evidence that 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 East Cornwall 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. 

Evidence to support your formal representation can be attached to the form using a stapler or paper clip. Your PCN appeals form and all accompanying evidence documents (enclosed in an envelope) need to be sent to:

PO Box 664,

Truro,

Cornwall,

DR1 9DH

You can also submit your informal representation by writing down the grounds of your Cornwall PCN challenge as well as(your Vehicle Registration Number and PCN Number) and sending the letter to:

PO Box 664,

Truro,

Cornwall,

DR1 9DH

You can mention an email address on which the Cornwall Council will send its response and be sure to check your junk email folder (for responses) or save parking.appeals@cornwall.gov.uk to your contact list. A response to a written informal representation will also normally be sent by post, so you should be ready to write down a formal representation (with essential evidence readily available) and make sure to check your mailbox every day.

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

A Parking PCN in the East Cornwall 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 East Cornwall 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 East Cornwall PCN fine?

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

To make your PCN fine payment online, you should visit the Cornwall Council website. On this page, you need to click on “Pay a Parking Fine Online” In the window which opens up you can enter your PCN number 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. East Cornwall Council accepts Visa Card, Maestro Card, Mastercard, and Visa Electron Card for PCN payments.

You might want to call on the Cornwall Council’s automated payments hotline.  For this, you have to call on 0333 023 0202. On the call, you will need to enter your PCN number, your vehicle registration 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 East Cornwall PCN by sending a check or postal order payable to “Cornwall 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:

PO Box 664,

Truro,

Cornwall,

DR1 9DH

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

If you neither pay your East Cornwall 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 East Cornwall 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 An East Cornwall PCN with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal if the Council dismisses my appeal?

Yes, you can dispute the decision of the Cornwall 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 Cornwall 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 Cornwall 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 Cornwall 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 Cornwall Council.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How Can I Challenge An East Cornwall 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 East Cornwall 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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