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Issue Date:- 7 April 2008


- Traffic Penalty Tribunal has increased accessibility and more powers for adjudicators -

From 31 March, a new and improved independent adjudication service will be in place to decide appeals against parking penalties and bus-lane penalties issued in England (outside London) and Wales. Everyone has the ultimate right to appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal against a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) they consider has been issued unjustly or incorrectly.

Chief adjudicator, Caroline Sheppard, said:- "The current problem with the appeal system is that very few motorists appear to realise they can appeal at all. It is important that people know that they have the right to appeal to an independent adjudicator if they want to continue to challenge a penalty after the council has rejected their case and says they should pay.  Each case is determined by an independent Adjudicator - a lawyer who will consider evidence from both parties before making a decision.

Our new website will feature information for motorists and vehicle owners on the grounds for appeal and the appeals process, including information on the types of hearing available. We have also included some short films that show how simple and accessible the appeals process is in action.”

Current statistics show that over 60% of appeals result in the motorist not having to pay the penalty. However, an appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal is the final stage in the challenge process and cannot be made until the council has formally rejected the representations made to it first.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal has increased the accessibility of the appeals process, in terms of both geography and language (hearings can be held in Welsh). Appellants may also state their preference for the type of hearing. There are 3 possibilities - either in person, by post and, in many cases, appeals can also be heard by telephone. An online service is due to be introduced later in 2008.  The Traffic Penalty Tribunal now uses moving images as evidence in bus lane appeals and is working on making these available online.

As a result of changes brought in on 31 March 2008 by the Traffic Management Act, the independent adjudicators will have more powers. These include the ability to allow an appeal if the council has not followed the correct procedure and being able to refer a case back to the council if it has not taken proper account of compelling reasons.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal replaces the National Parking Adjudication Service, which was formed in 1999. On 31 March 2008, the law concerning parking and moving traffic (bus lane) contraventions and penalties will change. From that date, parking Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) and the way they are issued and challenged are based on the Traffic Management Act 2004, which replaces the Road Traffic Act 1991.


FROM 31 March, a brand new website will provide the public with a straightforward, ‘one-stop-shop’ for questions regarding parking and bus lane regulations, including a thorough explanation of what to do if a parking ticket (PCN - penalty charge notice) is received.

The site sets out how councils in England (outside London) and Wales make and enforce parking and bus-lane regulations. It also explains the stages of the enforcement process and how it has changed following the implementation of the Traffic Management Act 2004 on March 31.

PATROL is the 1st website of its kind and has been timed to launch at the same time as the new regulations come into force in order to minimise public confusion. It will clearly outline all the changes brought about by the new regulations and will also be kept fully up to date on future changes.

For members of the public who have received a parking ticket or bus lane penalty, PATROL will offer simple, step by step advice on what the next stages are, outlining the various opportunities to either pay or challenge the ticket.

Information provided on the site will include:
• The list of parking contraventions and the 2 new penalty charge rates, varying depending on the parking contravention
• Information about what the new Traffic Management Act 2004 changes will mean for motorists
• Tips to avoid getting a parking ticket
• Details of the grounds for challenging a parking ticket and how to go about doing it
• Links to the parking page of each local council outside London in the civil enforcement scheme
• Information on the procedure for parking tickets issued before 31 March 2008, processed under the Road Traffic Act 1991
• Bus lane regulations, penalty charges for bus lane contraventions and how to appeal.
• What’s involved if your vehicle is clamped or towed away, and the grounds for claiming a refund.

PATROL is sponsored by the 200 enforcing-authority councils that make up The Joint Committee of England and Wales for the Civil Enforcement of Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London.

Ken Gregory, Chair of the Joint Committee comments:- ‘We are excited that for the first time more than 200 councils have come together to sponsor a public information website about parking, bus lanes and traffic management. We hope that the public will welcome PATROL as a much needed enhancement to individual council’s information services. The joint committee that I chair recognised that the public would be best served by a single point of access for their parking questions. The provision of clear and consistent information, common to each council, will contribute to greater public understanding of parking issues, traffic management and motorists’ rights.’

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