Do you need help? We have collated our most frequently asked questions and provided the answers in one place, to help you understand how to pay your penalty charge and the process you will go through.
What is a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?
Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) will issue PCNs if they observe a contravention of the regulations. There are set observation periods for different contraventions and CEOs will ask a motorist to move a vehicle, if he/she is in the vehicle prior to issuing a PCN.
CEOs do not have individual discretion when issuing PCNs and will not take any mitigating circumstances (such as a dental appointment overrunning) into account at the time of issue. Any circumstances will be considered by the appeals staff at a later date. This will ensure consistency and prevent CEOs having to make judgement calls in potentially hostile situations.
To ensure fairness and consistency across the county, Derbyshire County Council and its partner borough/districts through the Park Smarter partnership have agreed an enforcement policy which explains the objectives and application of civil parking enforcement within Derbyshire (excluding Derby city).
Can you give me some examples of typical contraventions?
Our Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) will issue a penalty charge notice if you:
- park on double yellow lines
- park on single yellow lines during the times shown on the sign
- park in a loading bay unless loading or unloading during the times shown
- overstay your time in a limited waiting bay
- overstay your times in council car parks
- park in a bus lane or taxi rank
- park in a disabled parking space unless you display a valid blue badge.
Who is responsible for paying the PCN?
Legally the owner/registered keeper of the vehicle is responsible and it is they who will be pursued in any further action.
How much will a PCN cost?
Derbyshire County Council and its partner councils have agreed National Band 2 for the Derbyshire geographical area. There are two levels at £70 and £50 which are reduced by 50 per cent if paid within 14 days (this is known as the discount period).
If the PCN remains unpaid these charges are seen as an unpaid debt and will ultimately be registered as such via the issue of a charge certificate. Ultimately unpaid debts will be recovered by bailiffs.
How can I pay my PCN?
Full details of how to pay will be on the Penalty Charge Notice. You can pay online. Cheques should be made payable to "Park Smarter"
In the event of any related correspondence please quote:
the Penalty Charge Notice number
your vehicle registration number
and your name and address.
What should I do if I get a PCN?
Details of what to do next and how to pay will be stated on the PCN. If you ignore the notice you will lose the option to pay at the discounted rate and you will be sent a Notice to Owner which will explain what you must do next.
Can I get a permit to carry out building work or emergency repairs in areas covered by yellow lines?
Yes, this can be possible with the appropriate advanced approval of the local authority. This will be in the form of a waiver/suspension/dispensation depending on the nature of the enquiry made.
Speak to your local enforcement authority well in advance of your proposed date to ensure procedures are followed and that you do not commit a contravention and receive a PCN.
I am a Blue Badge holder - how does Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) affect me?
The Blue Badge scheme will continue to operate as before.
Blue Badge holders should also appreciate that when parking in ‘off street’ car parks different councils operate different rules. Some for example only allow Blue Badge holders to park free of charge in specifically marked bays whilst others allow the use of any bay.
Similar restrictions may also apply in Residents Parking Zones as you may need a residents permit to park, at all or certain times, even if you are a Blue Badge holder.
The golden rule is to read the signs, lines and information boards in all situations whether on or off street.
What is off-street parking?
Off-street refers to car parks that are covered by the partnerships approved Civil Enforcement Area (CEA) and Special Enforcement Area (SEA) as approved by the Department of Transport.
What is on-street parking?
On-street means cars parked on the highway (road).
What if I have a valid pay and display ticket but receive a PCN?
If you have a valid pay and display ticket that covers the period when you were issued the PCN, keep it and send a photocopy of it with your correspondence to the address shown on the PCN along with the PCN itself. It is important you also provide your name and contact address/telephone number to assist in responding to you promptly.
I have sold the vehicle but I don't know the name of the new registered keeper/owner?
When you sell/dispose of a vehicle you have a legal obligation to inform the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of the transaction by completing the registration documents and sending them to the DVLA in Swansea. If the DVLA’s records show that you are the registered keeper of the vehicle on the day of the contravention, then you are responsible and must pay the charge.
What are the benefits of local enforcement under CPE?
Local enforcement will keep the county of Derbyshire:
- reduce dangerous and inconvenient parking
- support businesses
- assist loading/unloading
- improve conditions in residents parking zones
- support road safety
- assist Blue Badge holders.
What happens if I dispute the PCN?
You should not ignore the notice. If you do the charge may increase.
Instructions on what to do will be shown on the PCN. You should write to the address shown on the notice explaining your reasons for dispute. If you appeal within 14 days of the date on the PCN you may have the opportunity to still pay at the reduced rate.
If you don't agree with the council’s decision you may appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT). The TPT is a national independent appeal service and is free to motorists. All appeals at the TPT are dealt with by experienced lawyers. Details of how to contact the TPT will be provided as part of your decision letter.
What happens if I lose my appeal to the council and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal but refuse to pay?
If you lose both your appeals you must pay the PCN. If you don't pay, the amount to pay will increase and will be registered as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC). The council may then ask for a warrant authorising certified bailiffs to recover the debt. This will increase the costs further. There is no recourse to the courts outside of this process.
Will I receive a PCN for parking on the pavement or verge?
Yes you can receive a PCN if you park wholly or partially on a pavement or verge that is adjacent to yellow lines. If you cause an ‘obstruction’ you can be ticketed by the police.
Will the police be responsible for any parking enforcement?
Yes. They will still enforce any obstruction offences and moving traffic offences. They will continue to enforce any offence that carries penalty points.
Will vehicles be clamped or towed away?
Currently local councils have no powers to do this under the present legislation. However, vehicles can be clamped or towed away if they are parked in/on private car parks/roads that are not under the enforcement supervision of local councils.
For further information please read the enforcement policy.