This Factsheet is about Car Parking Enforcement and is primarily for people who have concerns about a penalty charge notice (PCN) issued by a council in relation to a parking contravention. It should be read together with our ‘How to Complain‘ webpage, available on the ‘Making A Complaint’ tab.
Parking restrictions and certain other traffic contraventions (such as driving in bus lanes) are increasingly being enforced by councils. The relevant pieces of legislation which give the council these powers are the Traffic Management Act (2004) and the Road Traffic Regulation Act (1984). Under the provisions of this legislation, there are statutory rights of appeal/challenge to an independent adjudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and the magistrate’s court respectively.
The circumstances in which the Ombudsman might be able to consider your complaint are extremely restricted. However, there may be some limited aspects that he could consider:
The Ombudsman cannot investigate the vast majority of complaints about parking enforcement. He cannot overturn a parking enforcement decision nor can he stop enforcement action from proceeding. In addition, he cannot usually investigate complaints where there is a statutory right of appeal to an independent tribunal or to the courts:
You may like to consider contacting the following organisations for advice or information:
The Traffic Penalty Tribunal deals with appeals against PCNs issued under the Traffic Management Act. You can contact them by phone on 0800 160 1999 or visit their website at: www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk/
The Citizens Advice Bureau provides free advice and assistance to members of the public and specific information about parking enforcement can be found on their website at:
POPLA considers appeals against notices issued by private companies who are members of the Approved Operator Scheme (AOS) administered by the British Parking Association (BPA). You can contact them by phone on 03301 596 126 or visit their website at: www.popla.org.uk/default.htm
Examples of cases that the Ombudsman has looked at can be found on our website, on the ‘Publications’ tab under ‘Our Findings’ & ‘The Ombudsman’s Casebook’.