Penalty Charge Notices (Parking fines)
Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) do not get incentives for issuing a certain number of tickets. Their job is to enforce parking regulations openly, fairly and consistently. CEOs are not allowed to exercise discretion when on duty; they are instructed to issue a ticket whenever the regulations appear to have been contravened. There is an appeals process to follow if you do not agree with a notice issued to you and the discretion lies within this process.
The council expects members of the public to respect the Civil Enforcement Officers right to undertake their duties without being physically or verbally harassed. All of our officers wear body cameras.
How are the fines issued?
You will receive a Penalty Charge Notice on your windscreen. The only exceptions to this are when the vehicle is driven away during issuing, if the Civil Enforcement Officer is prevented from serving the notice, or for enforcement using an “Approved Device” (if you have received one of these please see our pages on Bus Lane Enforcement and Fines and Camera Car Enforcement and Fines).
How do I view the evidence you have?
You can view the photographic evidence online. You will need the GS reference number and your vehicle registration number.
Notice to Owner through the post. You will need the web code printed on your Notice to Owner as well as your GS reference number and your vehicle registration number.
How do I pay the fine?
Payment should only be made if the Penalty Charge Notice is not disputed.
There are various ways to pay:
- Online: Pay your Penalty Charge Notice (parking fine) you will need your penalty charge number.
- By phone: Using the 24 hour automated payment line 0345 245 0682 (24 hours/7 days a week). Make sure you have your debit or credit card details and the penalty charge number.
- By post: Send your payment to South Gloucestershire Council, Parking Services, PO Box 1954, Bristol, BS37 0DD. Cheques and postal orders must be made payable to South Gloucestershire Council. Make sure the penalty charge number and your address are written on the back. Allow 2 working days for payments sent by 1st class post and 5 working days for 2nd class post.
How do I challenge the fine?
The first stage is called an informal challenge.
You can challenge by post by writing to
South Gloucestershire Council
Department for Environment and Community Services
PO Box 1954
You must include the GS reference number from the notice, along with your name and address.
All enquiries must be made in writing so that we have an audit trail of all correspondence and the reasons behind any decisions made.
What happens when I challenge?
If you challenge within the discounted period, you will still have a chance to pay at the discounted rate if you are rejected.
The first stage is called an informal challenge. When we receive a challenge your case is put on hold and no further action will be taken until we have reviewed and responded to your challenge. If your challenge is accepted we will write to you to notify you and there will be nothing to pay. If your challenge is rejected we will write you to advising you to pay the fine or to wait to receive a “Notice to Owner” through the post to make a formal representation.
A formal representation can only be made by the registered keeper of the vehicle. You have 28 days from the date a Notice to Owner is served (this date will be stated on the letter) to make formal representations. You do not need to have made an informal challenge to make a formal representation but you cannot make a formal representation until you have received the Notice to Owner.
If you make a formal representation this will be reviewed by a different case officer to the one who reviewed your informal challenge. If your representation is accepted we will write you to notify you and there will be nothing to pay.
If your representation is rejected you will receive a “Notice of Rejection”. This will advise you that you can either pay the charge or appeal to the independent adjudicator – the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The Notice of Rejection will contain the details to enable you to do this. You cannot appeal to the adjudicator until you have received your Notice of Rejection.
What if I ignore it?
If the fine is not paid within 14 days of issue, you lose your right to pay at the discounted rate. If the fine is not paid within 28 days a Notice to Owner will be sent.
If a Notice to Owner remains unpaid after 21 days then a Charge Certificate is sent and the charge is increased by 50%.
If the Charge Certificate remains unpaid after 7 days a Pre-Debt letter (reminder) will be sent out giving 7 days to pay before an Order for Recovery is sent out and the debt is registered at the Traffic Enforcement Centre. An £8 charge will be added when the debt is registered.
If the debt remains unpaid after 21 days a Warrant of Control is issued and the debt is sent to Enforcement Agents.
Where can I get independent advice?
You can obtain independent advice on parking regulations and the enforcement of PCNs from PATROL UK. Their website is www.patrol-uk.info
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