Penalty Charge Notices
The council’s parking civil enforcement officers will issue a penalty charge notice (PCN) when a vehicle is found parked in contravention of parking regulations.
Currently the cost of a PCN can be £50 or £70, depending on where and for what it was issued.
- Payment must be received within 28 days from the date of issue
- If payment is received within 14 days of the issue date, a reduced charge of 50 per cent will be accepted in final settlement. However, if you pay the reduced charge after the end of the 14 day period or you pay less than the amount due, your payment will be accepted as a part payment only and payment of the outstanding balance will remain due
Ways to pay
- By phone - credit/debit card 01233 331111 or via the 24hour automated service 01233 330625
- In person - at Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL. Opening hours Monday-Friday, 8.30am to 5pm
- By post - cheque or postal orders made payable to Ashford Borough Council. Please write the Penalty Charge Notice number and your address on the reverse of the cheque/postal order. Please send your payment, together with the completed payment slip (included with the PCN) to Parking Services, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL
If you have received a penalty charge notice (PCN) that you think should not have been issued you may challenge it by lodging an objection/appeal.
Do not ignore PCNs. Failing to take action (pay or appeal) will result in the cost increasing. If you wish to appeal, do not pay the PCN, but submit your objection/appeal to us within 14 days of the date it was issued.
If your payment or appeal is not received after 28 days, we will send the registered keeper/owner of the vehicle a notice to owner (NtO), at which time he or she may appeal.
If you are the registered keeper/owner of the vehicle but were not the driver, do not pass the notice to owner to the driver; it is your responsibility to deal with the matter by paying the penalty charge or by appealing.
Do not telephone about your PCN. Due to the possible legal consequences of the matter, we are unable to accept objections/appeals over the telephone.
Write to us
Write to parking services at the Civic Centre, setting out the reason why you believe the PCN should not have been issued. Please note that if your objection/appeal is not received within 14 days, the full penalty charge will apply. Our postal address is shown above, and on the rear of the Penalty Charge Notice.
Parking Services, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL
Please remember to use your Penalty Charge Notice number as a reference. If you do not have this please provide as much information as you can (location, date, vehicle registration). We may need to ask further information.
Pay or appeal online
You may also submit your initial objection/appeal (within 14 days) by using our PCN Representation Form.
If your objection/appeal is successful, we will cancel the PCN. If your objection/appeal is rejected, we will write to you setting out the reason why. We will allow you 14 days from the date of our letter notifying you of our decision, to finalise the matter by paying the charge at the discounted rate.
Each case is considered on its own merits. The following policy guidance for the enforcement and cancellation of PCNs [pdf] 640KB represents a basis for applying fairness and discretion in the enforcement and cancellation of PCN:
- Observation times (carried out before the issue of some Penalty Charge Notices)
- The statutory grounds upon which representations may be made to the council
- Mitigating circumstances
- The acceptance or rejection of representations
- Grace periods. N.B. Grace can only apply in locations where parking is permitted- it does not apply where parking is not allowed, e.g. on double yellow lines. The rules relating to grace are set out in national legislation.
These guidelines are continually reviewed and revised if necessary.
The Traffic Management Act 2004 states that the owner/keeper of the vehicle may make representations against a PCN in writing on certain grounds. These are listed on the Notice to Owner form that is sent to the registered keeper/owner of the vehicle at least 28 days after the date of the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (or along with the Penalty Charge Notice served by post).
- The contravention did not occur: e.g. the contravention as described on the PCN did not happen
- The penalty exceeded the relevant amount: e.g. you are being asked to pay the wrong amount
- The Traffic Regulation Order was invalid: this applies if the Traffic Regulation Order is incorrect or faulty in some way
- Your are not the owner of the vehicle: e.g. the vehicle was sold before the contravention occurred. You should submit evidence to support your claim (Bill of Sale, confirmation from insurance company etc)
- The vehicle was taken without your consent at the time of the contravention: e.g. the vehicle was stolen at the time the PCN was issued. You should submit evidence to support your claim (e.g. your police crime report number)
- You are a hire company and have provided details of the hirer’s name and address: Note that this only applies to hire companies where the hirer has signed a statement of liability acknowledging liability for PCNs issued during the period of the hire agreement
- There has been a procedural impropriety by the enforcement authority
- The Penalty Charge has already been paid
- Any other reason why you consider the council should cancel the Penalty Charge Notice and refund any sum already paid, if applicable.
On receipt of your appeal, following a careful review of all the circumstances we will either cancel the PCN or, if the appeal is rejected, we will send the registered keeper/owner a Notice of Rejection letter, setting out the reason for our decision.
If the council rejects your appeal, the Notice of Rejection letter you receive will advise you to either pay the PCN or submit an appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
The Traffic Penalty Tribunal
The Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) consider appeals against penalties issued for parking, bus lane and moving traffic contraventions in England (outside London) and Wales as well as penalties issued for failing to pay a charge at the Dartford river crossing.
Ashford Borough Council civil enforcement officers (CEOs) currently only issue penalties for parking contraventions.
N.B. You cannot appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal until after the council has notified you that your formal representation (appeal) has been rejected. This means it is only after a Notice to Owner has been served, and a formal representations has then been rejected, that one may appeal to the TPT.
- An experienced lawyer who is independent of the council will consider your case
- You will be given the option of having your appeal dealt with in person or by post
- The adjudicator's decision is final and binding on both you and the council
- You can find out more by visiting the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website
If you lose your appeal
You will be notified of the outcome by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and are allowed 28 days to finalise the matter by payment of the full penalty charge.
If you do not pay
We will send a charge certificate notifying you that the charge has increased by an extra 50 per cent if you do not pay an outstanding penalty charge within 28-days of any of the following circumstances:
- Following receipt of a ‘Notice to Owner’ letter from the council (unless you submit a formal representation)
- Following receipt of a ‘Notice of Rejection’ Letter
- Following notification from the Traffic Penalty Tribunal that your appeal has been rejected. Please note that you have no right to appeal at this stage
If payment of the penalty charge remains outstanding after we send you a charge certificate, we will register the charge as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre. A sum to cover court costs is added at this stage. If you do not pay the debt or make a witness statement (PCNs issued 31 March 2008 onwards) within 21 days, the council will apply to the county court for a Warrant of Execution, which authorises the council to recover the unpaid charge using their certified bailiffs. The bailiffs will add their charges to the outstanding debt, increasing the total amount of your debt.
What is a witness statement?
A witness statement is a similar form to a statutory declaration however there is no need to have the statement sworn at a court or commissioner for oaths.
The council is a member of the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) Adjudication Joint Committee.