Many drivers will receive a parking ticket (also known as a Penalty Charge Notice) at some point in their life. Public PCNs are handed out 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. You may receive the notice by hand, post or stuck to your car windscreen and will obtain a £90 fine. However, if the fine is paid within 14 days, the fee will be reduced by 50%.
While most parking tickets issued will be valid, there may be occasions when 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 your parking ticket, you can challenge the decision, however, this must be completed in writing. Alternatively, there is now the option to appeal the ticket using the online system, but this can only be completed after the relevant information has been uploaded. 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.
What Happens Next?
If your challenge is successful, the parking ticket will be cancelled, and you will receive a letter to inform you that the case is closed. If it is refused, you will also be notified in writing. Following this, you can either pay the ticket or, if you are the registered keeper of the vehicle, you have the option to contest the ticket.
If you chose to do this, you will be issued with a Notice of Owner. This 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 the ticket. A representation can be submitted in writing or online.
What Should I Do If My Representation is Refused?
If your representation is refused, you will receive a Notice of Rejection. You will then have the opportunity to 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, 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.
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.