To appeal or not to appeal: that is the question.
Many disabled drivers are given Penalty Charge Notices (PCN’s) for breaches of parking conditions. They often ask themselves the question should they take the hit or appeal. You can get a PCN for any perceived offence – from displaying your Blue Badge upside down, forgetting to set your time clock, or simply parking somewhere where the local rules are unclear. It is virtually impossible to predict whether or not your appeal will be successful appealing a PCN can also be a lot of hassle, with correspondence, form-filling and photocopying which can drag on for months. Nevertheless it may still be worthwhile. Here Disabled Motoring UK gives advice on appealing and outlines some of their recent cases:
Most councils and other issuing authorities have a clear appeals procedure that must be followed. This will vary depending on whether the ticket was issued on-street or off-street. Appealing any kind of ticket usually involves plenty of form-filling! However, as long as all the mitigating circumstances are included many people will have a successful appeal at the initial stage. If you intend to appeal, it is important that you reply to the issuer immediately giving notice of your intention to appeal, even if you need a bit more time to complete the appeal itself. Many councils and companies will offer you the chance to pay half the fine if you do so within 14 days; if you respond saying that you are challenging the ticket you should be able to pay this lower fine, even if your subsequent appeal is unsuccessful.
What if my badge was displayed correctly?
There have been many cases where officers have simply failed to notice Blue Badges that were displayed but not on the dashboard – when they were clipped to the sun visor, for example.
|If you receive a PCN for parking in a Blue Badge space without a valid permit and appeal on the grounds that you do have a Blue Badge and it was displayed correctly, then usually the issuing authority will simply review pictures taken of your vehicle by their enforcement officer and decide whether the ticket has been issued in error.
My badge was the wrong way round / upside down!
It’s very easy to leave your Badge displayed the wrong way round by mistake, or with the clock obscuring the expiry date on the Badge itself. This is a common trick used by fraudsters using out-of-date badges. However, an appeal including a photocopy of your valid badge may still be successful. After all, if the badge is valid and was definitely in the car, the issuers are able to determine that it was not being used illegally.
I forgot to display my badge
If you have forgotten to display your badge altogether the issuer could refuse your appeal on the grounds that the permit could have been in use in another vehicle at the same time. However, you should still appeal, including details of your valid Blue Badge. Sometimes your appeal will be successful, although it will be at the discretion of the issuer.
Disabled Motoring UK campaign to allow Blue Badge holders extra time to park, in recognition of the fact that it takes them longer to load / unload mobility aids, as well as travel to and from their destination. If you receive a ticket in a car park where badge holders are charged the same as non-badge holders, and are not allowed any extra time to park, causing you to overstay by a very short period of time, it may still be worth appealing.
I didn’t see the sign!
With many car parks and councils now charging either a full or discounted rate for Blue Badge holders, it’s no longer safe to assume that you can park for free. But there is an obligation for parking charges to be clearly signed, for example at every entrance to the car park or on-street area where parking is restricted. If the signs are missing, illegible or overgrown you have a good case for an appeal. It is helpful if you can take photos immediately (preferably date stamped) to back up your appeal.
Appealing a ticket can be time-consuming and frustrating, but that does not mean that you will not be successful. Keeping copies of all of your correspondence, including telephone conversations (remember to take down the name of the member of staff you have spoken with, as well as the time and date!) can help you progress quicker as well as point out any inaccuracies.
Source: Disabled Motoring UK August 2011