Torbay Council

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Parking Enforcement - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE)?

Under the Traffic Management Act 2004 civil parking enforcement allows the local authority to manage its own parking restrictions.

What is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?

A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is issued by a Civil Enforcement Officer to a vehicle or to the person appearing to be in charge of a vehicle which is believed to be parked in contravention of the council’s Traffic Regulation Orders

Who is legally responsible for a PCN?

The registered keeper/owner of the vehicle is legally responsible even if they were not the driver or passenger at the time of the offence.

How much should I pay?

The Traffic Management Act 2004 introduced the practice of differential charging. This means that there are now different parking penalties depending on the seriousness of the contravention. Lower rate contraventions are charged at £50 and higher rate contraventions at £70. This penalty charge is reduced by 50% to £25 and £35 respectively, if it is paid not later than the last day of the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which the PCN was served.
A full list of the different contraventions and which charging bracket they fall into is available.
If you have any doubt as to how much you should pay contact Parking Services on 01803 207695 and an advisor will be able to assist.

What if I do not pay and ignore the issuing of the PCN?

If you do not pay a PCN within 14 days from the date of issue the discounted charge will no longer apply and the full charge must be paid. This will be either £50 or £70 depending on the level of the contravention.
If payment remains outstanding after 28 days, a Notice To Owner is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. This provides a further period of 28 days in which to pay or make a formal representation before a charge certificate is issued.
If payment still remains outstanding further charges can be added at later dates as the ticket progresses to a charge certificate stage (£75 or £105) and then registered at the County Court increasing the outstanding charge by a court registration fee. If the PCN is still not paid at this stage a warrant of execution will be granted to a bailiff for recovery. The bailiff will then add further charges for the recovery of the charge on top of the existing amount.

How do I challenge a PCN?

All challenges must be made in writing and should include evidence as appropriate. Details of how to submit a challenge are on the reverse of the PCN. You should give a reason why you consider the PCN should not have been issued.
The Council will consider your case and may then cancel the PCN or reject your challenge. If your challenge is rejected, the notification will contain details of why the challenge has been rejected, the amount now due and your opportunity to contest the issue further if you are dissatisfied with the council’s response.
If the challenge has been submitted during the first 14 days after the PCN was served the Council will usually re-offer the discount for a further 14 days from the date of the letter.

What is a Notice to Owner (NTO)?

A Notice to Owner is a document produced after the Council has contacted the Drivers Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to confirm the identity of the registered keeper of the vehicle. The NTO will then be sent to the registered keeper and confirm that the money is still owed. The registered keeper can then pay the amount owed, or they have the right to make formal representations contesting the Penalty Charge Notice. Details explaining how to make formal representations are supplied with the NTO.

What is a formal representation?

When the NTO is sent to the registered keeper this document will also include the page to enable the keeper or their delegated representative to make a formal representation against the issuing of the PCN. Tick one of the boxes which gives various grounds on which to make a representation, sign the document and return to the address shown.
If you wish to make a formal representation on the grounds that the vehicle was not in your ownership at the time the PCN was issued, please give details or provide evidence of proof of sale. It is also recommended that you contact the DVLA, who keep a register of all vehicle owners in the UK, to make them aware of any changes in vehicle ownership.

What is Notice of Rejection?

If a formal representation is rejected by the Council a Notice of Rejection will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. This will provide reasons for the rejection and details of how an appeal can be made to the independent Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

How do I appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal?

You may only appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal after representations to the council have been rejected. The Council’s Notice of Rejection will give the reasons for not cancelling the PCN.
You can then either pay any balance outstanding or send the completed appeal form to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, an independent organisation where an adjudicator will examine your case.
The adjudicator’s decision is final and binding on both the appellant and the Council. There is no charge for appealing and the penalty will not increase while the case is being considered.
If you have any questions about appealing contact the Traffic Penalty Tribunal direct (0161 242 5252) or the Council’s Parking Services.
Further information is available at opens in a new window

What happens if my appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal is refused?

If your appeal is unsuccessful you will be required to pay the outstanding penalty charge within 28 days of receiving written confirmation of the adjudicator’s decision.

What happens if I do not pay after my appeal has been refused?

If payment is not received within 28 days from receipt of the adjudicator’s decision, you will be issued with a Charge Certificate which increases the amount due by 50% and you will be requested to make payment within 14 day. You have no further right to appeal at this stage.

What happens if I do not pay following the receipt of the Charge Certificate?

If payment is not received following the issue of the Charge Certificate, the unpaid Charge Certificate is registered as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC) and a sum to cover court costs is added at this stage. An Order for Recovery will be posted as notification. If you still do not pay the debt or make a Witness Statement within 21 days, the Council may apply to the Court for a Warrant of Execution which authorises the Council to recover the unpaid amount using bailiffs, you will also be responsible for the bailiff fees.

What is a Witness Statement?

This is a statement by the person who the debt has been registered against. The appropriate form is issued by the Council when sending out the Order for Recovery as notification that the unpaid Charge Certificate has been registered at the Court
You may make a Witness Statement only if:
Please note proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against you if you make or cause to be made a false statement in an application verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

When can I park on yellow lines?

You can never park on yellow lines.  However you can stop to load and unload goods where there are yellow lines and no kerb markings present. This can be a variety of activities including making deliveries and undertaking house moves.

What goods are classed as loading and unloading?

The legislation does not provide a definition for “goods”. The Civil Enforcement Officer will determine whether a motorist is loading or unloading goods which are not easily portable. The CEO will use his/her discretion whether the activity falls within the Parking Enforcement Policy.

Can I stop on yellow lines to pick up pre-ordered goods?

Only if the goods meet the rest of the Policy guidelines i.e. goods are not easily portable, the activity is continuous and the CEO must see some of evidence of loading/unloading. Pre-ordered goods will only be a factor.

How long do I get?

This will depend on a number of factors, the location of the vehicle, the size of the vehicle (commercial/non commercial), the quantity of goods and the manner in which loading/unloading is taking place as long as it is continuous, e.g. forklift, HGV lorry unloading.

What happens if I get involved with other activities whilst loading and unloading?

The exemption is only for the actual process of loading and unloading, it does not include, answering telephones, socialising, shopping.

How is loading and unloading enforced?

A Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) will observe a vehicle parked on yellow lines.  They will first note if the vehicle is attended or unattended.
If the vehicle is attended and the activity of loading and unloading is observed in the majority of circumstances the CEO will allow this to continue.
If the vehicle is unattended the CEO will commence the logging of the vehicle on the handheld computer and will stay in the vicinity of the vehicle to see if the driver returns to the vehicle.  If no activity is seen a penalty charge notice will be issued.  If the driver returns and the CEO has commenced the process of issuing a Penalty Charge Notice they will continue and if the vehicle moves then the Penalty Charge Notice will be posted to the registered keeper of the vehicle.  There is always the full right of the appeals service as per the Traffic Management Act 2004.

How will a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) be trained to see if I am Loading or Unloading?

Part of the usual enforcement training.  As this is a basic part of the role to check to see when a vehicle is parked on a double yellow line if there is loading and unloading taking place, this will be covered in the basic verbal/on street training by supervisors when a CEO is first recruited.

Can I park on yellow lines for a few minutes to pick my children up from school?

No.  This activity causes road safety issues to children and other users of the highway.

Can I park in a cycle lane?

No as the majority of advisory cycle lanes, e.g. Belgrave Road, have a restriction in situ. As per the enforcement policy, a cycle lane must be lined with a solid white line and accompanying signs to enable it to be enforced. The only cycle lane in Torbay that is marked in such a way is on Eastern Esplanade where the cycling contraflow was introduced in 2011. All other cycle lanes are marked with broken white lines which makes them advisory, and they cannot be enforced unless there is a further parking restriction within the cycle lane. The majority of advisory cycle lanes within Torbay have a no waiting restriction along the length of the cycle lane.   The Civil Enforcement Officers will enforce the restriction in the normal way.

What concessions are there for parking on yellow lines?

Vehicles are not permitted to ‘park or wait’ on double or single yellow lines, but loading and unloading can take place provided that the act of loading and unloading is not prohibited by virtue of other restrictions, namely loading bans (kerb markings). The only concessions that the Council can offer would be a Parking Dispensation Notice which can be purchased by contractors who require constant access to their vehicle to undertake work (e.g. building works) where there are no alternative or more suitable areas to park. There is no requirement for the Council to advertise the fact that you can load and unload on double yellow lines, and loading/unloading is not on a ‘need to know basis’ as it is already documented in the Highway Code (Rule 247), which is available to all motorists.

I believe I was legitimately loading and unloading but I was issued a penalty Charge Notice – what do I do?

The back of the penalty charge notice clearly states ‘If you believe that the Penalty should not be paid and wish to challenge this Penalty Charge Notice and then gives option on how to challenge.  This challenge/appeals process is part of the Traffic Management Act 2004.  This indicates you either pay or challenge.  You cannot do both.

I am a Tradesman and I need to park where there is a Restriction – how do I apply for an Exemption/Concession?

A Tradesman can apply for a dispensation on the day works are due to commence via a Connections Office. It should be noted there is an online form on the Parking Dispensation Notices page.
Every effort will be made to issue a dispensation on the day, but highway works reports and other databases are checked to see if an exemption is applicable.

Can a Penalty Charge Notice be posted to me?

Yes a Penalty Charge Notice can be posted if the Civil Enforcement Officer has issued the notice but been unable to serve this due to the vehicle driving away or the driver/passenger of the vehicle becoming aggressive or through the use of a mobile enforcement vehicle.

I have a Blue Badge can I park in a Permit Holders Bay in a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ)?

Permit Holders Bays are for residents displaying a valid permit only.  However in all the CPZs in Torbay there are other bays.  If the bay has a specific time period for non residents a blue badge holder may park as long as like.  

My Vehicle is too large and occupies two bays in a car park will I receive a Penalty Charge Notice?

No, not if you pay and display two valid tickets to cover the cost of the two bays.

Does the Council issue Penalty Charge Notices to motorcycles?

No, not if you park a motorcycle in a motorcycle bay in a car park or on street in the designated motor cycle bays.

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