Drivers can receive a parking ticket (also known as a Penalty Charge Notice) in Northern Ireland for parking or driving offences which take place on public land. This may include driving or parking in a bus lane, restricted turns or stopping in yellow box junctions. The amount of a parking ticket is £90, however, if you pay within 14 days, a 50 per cent discount is applied. Once a parking ticket (PCN) is issued, it cannot be cancelled by a traffic attendant.
Can a PCN Be Unfairly Issued?
While most parking tickets issued will be valid, there may a situation in which you believe the ticket was unfairly issued, such as:
- There was unclear or misleading signage in the area
- Your vehicle was stolen, or you weren’t the owner of the vehicle when the alleged incident occurred
- Unfair charge e.g., your vehicle was broken-down, you were legally loading/unloading, or your permitted time had not run out
- The Traffic Regulation Order was invalid e.g., a new restriction was added without following correct procedures
If you feel that your PCN falls into one of these categories, you have the option to appeal the ticket.
When Can I Appeal My Ticket?
Once you receive a parking ticket it can be challenged in either of two ways:
- online: Challenge a parking ticket (Penalty Charge Notice)
- in writing to the Parking Enforcement Processing Unit
It is also important to note that if your appeal is received within 14 days, the discount period will still be applicable while the challenge is considered.
After a challenge
If the challenge is successful, the parking ticket (PCN) will be cancelled, and the case will be closed. You will be informed of this in writing by the Parking Enforcement Processing Unit.
If the challenge is refused, you will be informed in writing. You can then either pay the parking ticket (PCN) or, if you are the registered keeper and you wish to continue to contest the parking ticket (PCN), you should await the issue of a Notice to Owner.
A Notice to Owner allows the registered keeper to make a representation, which will be considered by the Parking Enforcement Processing Unit. In this document, you will state the reason(s) why you feel that you should not have to pay for the ticket. You can make a representation at this link:
You can also make a representation by writing to the Parking Enforcement Processing Unit.
If a representation is successful, the parking ticket will be cancelled, and the case will be closed. You will be informed of this in writing.
What Should I Do If My Representation is Refused?
If your representation is refused, you will receive a Notice of Rejection. You can fully explain why you believe the parking ticket was unfairly issued. This can be conducted in one of two ways:
- Personal Appearance
- Postal Application
Those who chose a personal appearance will be required to attend a Tribunal and give oral evidence. If you feel that it is necessary, you can find a solicitor who can support you throughout this stage and help you communicate your reasons. Alternatively, these can be submitted in writing via a postal application.
Tribunals will take place in the Tribunals Hearing Room in Belfast, and will be relatively informal with an Adjudicator, a representative from Transport NI and the appellant in attendance. The Adjudicator will give their decision immediately however, each party will also receive a written Notice of Decision. Read more about the appeals process here.
If You Need Advice
Although not all parking ticket appeals will require legal support or representation, some situations may require you to find a solicitor who can help resolve the issue.
H McPartland & Sons’ team of highly experienced and highly skilled solicitors can provide you will the support and legal advice needed to appeal your parking ticket. Contact us today at our Lisburn or Lurgan office to discuss your case confidently and efficiently.