A Penalty Charge Notice or PCN is issued by council authorities if a vehicle is found to be in violation of the council’s parking or traffic regulations. Through this blog post, we aim to learn whether or not a motorist can avoid paying their PCN in the Tower Hamlets area. In addition to this, we will also discuss the options available to them if they find a PCN to be issued in error and would like to appeal to the council against it. There are also details regarding the reasons why PCNs are generally issued and how Blue Badge holders can avail parking concessions.

How Do I Avoid Paying A PCN In Tower Hamlets?

You cannot avoid paying a PCN in Tower Hamlets unless you have been charged by mistake. In such a case you can check the images that are uploaded on the council website against the charge issued in your name. If you still disagree with the Penalty Charge Notice, you should not pay the fine and file an online appeal against the parking fine issued to you. This appeal should be filed within 14 days of being issued a PCN. 

If you believe that you have been incorrectly charged with Penalty Charge Notice, you can appeal to your local council office with your Vehicle Registration Number and Penalty Charge Notice number. However, you must make the appeal before paying for the PCN charges; unless your vehicle has been removed due to a violation of parking restrictions.

If a vehicle owner does not respond to notices left on their car, they will be sent a formal notice termed a Notice To Owner. They can make a formal appeal to the council in response to this if they have evidence to prove their claim.

If your appeal is found to be valid, you will receive a Notice of Acceptance and the charges will be removed. However, if your appeal is rejected, you will receive a Notice of Rejection. You may still contend this through the London Tribunals, however, if you do not pay the charge even after their response, the council can send a debt collection agency to recover the amount. 

If someone has been issued a PCN but they are eligible for a Blue Badge, they (a family relative or carer) should apply for one so that they are able to claim parking concessions in the Tower Hamlets area.

What Are The Different Types of Appeals Against A PCN?

If you appeal before a Notice of Enforcement has been issued to your name, it will be termed as an “Informal Challenge”; in response to which an officer will review your case file and subsequently issue a Notice of Acceptance or Rejection through the post. 

If you challenge the PCN after a Notice of Enforcement has been received by you (this happens when you do not pay the PCN by the indicated date on the ticket)  or your previous challenge has been rejected, this will be termed as a “Formal Representation”. In this case, an officer will review your file even if this is your first appeal or if your previous appeal has been rejected. You will receive a Letter of Acceptance or Rejection after the review. 

How Do You Write A Penalty Appeal Letter?

Your penalty appeal letter should mainly contain your (the vehicle owner’) full name, the registration number of your car and your PCN number.

It should mention the case in point, the reason why you were charged and why you believe that the charge is in error. You must include relevant evidence to support your claim in the letter.

Below is a template that you can use or customise to meet your needs:

———————————————————————————

[name and address of the vehicle owner]

[date]

[council name and address]

Parking Ticket Number: [xxxxxxxxxx]

Vehicle Registration Number: [xxxxxxxxxx]

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to request you to reconsider the above Penalty Charge Notice and review the evidence that I share in support of my appeal 

I received a parking ticket [ticket number] on [date] for the reason of [official reason mentioned in the PCN]. However, I believe that the fine was issued in error and I would like to submit an appeal through this letter.

The signage [mention road/street] was not clear due to which I was unable to determine the parking restrictions or if there were any parking restrictions applied in the area. I was also in a hurry at the time due to a medical emergency at home for which I had to rush during peak traffic hours.

I have enclosed recent visuals from the area that show the unclear signage and hope that my request will be reviewed in good faith.  

Antipcationg your kind consideration.

Yours faithfully,

[signature]

[printed name]

———————————————————————————

For How Many Days Can I Avoid Paying A PCN?

Once a penalty charge notice is issued by council authorities, you will have 28 days to make the payment and in case the amount is paid within 14 days, you may even get a 50 per cent discount on the fine.

If your PCN is more than 60 days old, you have been issued an  ‘Order for Recovery of Unpaid Penalty Charge Notice’ more than 21 days ago or you’ve been issued a bailiff’s letter, you will not be able to make an online payment to clear your PCN charges. In this case, you may have to pay through cheque, postal order or in person at the council post office.

If you do not pay your PCN within 28 days, you will be issued a charge certificate after which you will have 14 days to clear your dues. If you fail to do so, an additional amount of 50 per cent will be added to your PCN charges.

Why Is A PCN Issued?

A PCN is issued by council authorities if someone has violated parking laws on public land such as council car park or high street. In addition to parking offences, a PCN can also be charged for breaking traffic rules, failing to follow road signs, or not paying the charges for the London congestion zone or low emission zone.

Depending on the severity of the action, PCN charges can range between £50 to £130 and must be paid within due time.

How Do I Pay A PCN In Tower Hamlets If I Cannot Avoid It?

If you have been charged with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or parking fine in the Tower Hamlets area, you can make your payment online using Internet Payments. However, it takes 24 hours for PCNs to be uploaded on the Tower Hamlets portal; therefore, it is advisable to make your payment a day after the PCN has been issued to you. PCNs issued on a Friday or over the weekend will be updated by the following Monday and so payments are advised to be made by then.

Does The Blue Badge Scheme Apply In Tower Hamlets?

Yes, the Blue Badge scheme applies to Tower Hamlets residents who are:

  • registered blind
  • receive the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • in receipt of 8 or more points under the “Moving Around” activity of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • in receipt of a war pensioner’s mobility supplement
  • children under three years of age with specific medical conditions

If you qualify for a Blue Badge, you may be able to park for free in the following locations:

  • Unlimited parking on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines 
  • Unlimited parking (unless a time limit is displayed on a sign) in disabled parking bays on streets
  • Parking for up to three hours on single or double yellow lines (unless there’s a ‘no loading’ sign)

However, you must keep in mind that having a Blue Badge does not allow claimants to park their car anywhere; they just qualify for certain concessions in specific areas. They will still need to follow parking regulations and can get fined for breaking parking rules. 

Conclusion:

It is pretty clear from the above detailed discussion regarding Penalty Charge Notices that one cannot avoid paying their parking fine without legal repercussions. In fact, if someone is issued with a parking fine in the Tower Hamlets area they are advised to pay their fine on time to avoid further charges or penalties. However, if you are sure that a PCN has been issued to you in error, you have the right to appeal to the council. In such cases, motorists are advised not to pay the PCN and file an appeal within 14 days of receiving a PCN. 

FAQs: How Do I Pay PCN In Tower Hamlets?

How do I pay my Tower Hamlets parking fine?

You can pay your PCN in Tower Hamlets online through the council website. If, however, you are unable to do so, you can also call on their 24/7 automated telephone line on 020 7364 5000 or the Tower Hamlets general enquiry hotline.

How do I contact Tower Hamlets?

To contact Tower Hamlets via phone you can call on 020 7364 5000 between 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday.

What happens if you don’t pay a PCN in the UK?

If you don’t pay your PCN within 28 days, you will be issued a charge certificate and granted 14 days to make the payment. However, an additional 50 per cent will be added to your original charge. 

What happens if you forget to pay the congestion charge?

If you don’t pay the congestion charge by midnight of the third day that you were in the zone, you can expect that PCN will be issued to your name by the relevant council authorities.

Can bailiffs force entry for parking fines?

No, bailiffs will not force entry into your house to collect parking fines. They only visit between 6 am to 9 pm and you can speak to them at your door.

References:

Parking fines

Online services

Towerhamlets.tarantoportal.com/

Disabled_parking_blue_badges.aspx

Pay-parking-fine

Parking-tickets

Pay-parking-ticket-penalty-charge-notice

Motability, Blue Badge Scheme and discounted travel | MoneyHelper

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