Drivers warned of appealing parking tickets and fines – expert advice

Rip Off Britain: Lawyer Gary Rycroft gives tips on parking tickets

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The Traffic Penalty Tribunal is a free service that can help drivers contest a variety of different Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). The service provides appeals against penalties issued by over 300 local authorities the length and breadth of England and Wales.

This also includes parking, bus lane, moving traffic, Clean Air Zone and littering from vehicles contraventions.

Around 90 percent of their appeals are carried out completely online and they are involved in around 35,000 cases a year.

All the appeals are handled by independent lawyers who work part-time, with more than 75 percent of appeals raised being completed within a month.

Drivers can’t make an appeal through the TPT straight away, they have to go through the council’s process first.

The website states: “An appeal can only be made to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal once you have first made representations to the authority that issued the PCN, and have been unsuccessful. 

“At this point the authority will issue you with a Notice of Rejection of Representations.”

For any hesitant drivers, they can see the statistics for their local authority, the type of penalty and even compare data.

TPT’s most recent data suggests that from 2020-2021 it helped carry forward 18,117 appeals for motorists.

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Of that number, 3,695 motorists failed, but 3,753 won and a whopping 6,748 appeals weren’t contested by the council involved at all.

Citizens Advice also urge drivers to assess their options when dealing with a parking ticket appeal.

It states: “Don’t pay a parking ticket that you’re appealing. 

“Usually, paying is seen as admitting the ticket was right – so you won’t be able to appeal it once you’ve paid.

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“If you’re worried about not paying, call whoever gave you the ticket and ask them to confirm that you shouldn’t pay if you’re appealing.”

When appealing to a council, they advise that the driver writes to the council clearly explaining why they object, which is known as making an informal appeal.

Drivers have 14 days to make an informal appeal from when they were given the notice, or 21 days if it was sent to them by post.

Speaking previously to BBC’s Morning Live, lawyer Gary Rycroft echoed the guidance, saying that motorists should be aware of the differences between the kind of tickets handed out.

He said: “If you’ve been slapped with a penalty after parking on private land and thought the parking company was trying it on, then there’s good news ahead.

“Firstly remember the rules for parking tickets on private land have always been different from parking fines issued by the local authorities or police for publicly owned car parks and public highways.”

He added that on private land, the parking tickets issued are never fines, even if they look like one.

Mr Rycroft stated that they are “simply invoices” for the time they have spent parking on someone else’s property.

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