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Civil Parking Enforcement - FAQ's

Q. How do I avoid getting a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)?
A. Ensure when you are parking that you have checked the signs, lines and notices on the street. In off street car parks ensure you pay to park, where appropriate and if using permits ensure you park in accordance with the terms and conditions that apply to that permit.

Q. What could I be issued a PCN for?
A. A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued if a restriction is contravened. For more information on these contravention's visit our Parking Contraventions page:

  • The Police will continue to enforce other traffic offences which can result in penalty points on a driving licence. This includes dangerous parking, causing an obstruction, parking on pedestrian crossings and all moving traffic offences.

Q. How much will a PCN cost issued prior to 31st March 2008 under the Road Traffic Act 1991?
A. The charge will be £60, this is reduced to £30 if the notice is paid within 14 days of issue. The charge applies to both on-street and off-street (car parks) contraventions.

Q. How much will a PCN cost issued on or after 31st March 2008 under the Traffic Management Act 2004?
A charge will depend on what contravention has been contravened. This is due to the introduction of differential parking penalties depending on the seriousness of the contravention. There will now be two charges, a higher charge of £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days of issue and a lower charge of £50, reduced to £25 if paid within 14 days of issue.

Q. Can I challenge the PCN?
A. Yes, the PCN will show the alleged contravention, the date, time and location, if you feel it was wrongly issued or that there are special circumstances in your case you must write to North Hertfordshire District Council, PO Box 227, Letchworth Garden City, Herts SG6 3WX explaining your reasons for disputing the charge. Alternatively you can challenge on-line by visiting our Parking Penalty Charge Notice Challenge page. All challenges must be received in writing face to face challenges or challenges made over the phone are unacceptable.

Q. If I challenge against the PCN will I lose the right to pay the reduced rate?
A. No, as long as the challenge is received within 14 days of the issue date the case will then be put on hold until a decision has been made. If the appeal is rejected you will be given a further opportunity to pay the discounted rate but this payment must be received within 14 days of the date of the rejection letter.

Q. What happens if I don't pay?
A. If you do not pay or challenge within 28 days of issue of the PCN we will send a Notice to Owner (NtO) to the owner of the vehicle asking that either full payment or a formal representation be made. If after this the fine is still unpaid, or you have not asked for an appeal hearing the owner will be served a Charge Certificate which increases the cost of the charge by 50%. If the charge remains unpaid it will be registered as a debt and recovered through the County Court.

Q. Who will be Responsible for Paying a Penalty Charge?
A. Legally the owner / keeper of the vehicle is responsible and it is the owner / keeper who will be pursued in any further action.

Q. How can I pay for the Penalty Charge?
A. You will be able to pay by the following methods:

  • by post, by cheque or postal order to North Hertfordshire District Council, PO Box 227, Letchworth Garden City, Herts SG6 3WX
  • by telephone using credit or debit card on 01462 474470 (24 hours).
  • by internet using credit /debit card visiting our "Pay for it page".

Q. Can I pay the Civil Enforcement Officer for the PCN?
A. No. Civil Enforcement Officers will not be allowed to accept payment and are under strict instructions that once a ticket has been issued it can not be withdrawn.

Q. Will vehicles be clamped or towed away?
A. At the present time it is not intended to introduce clamping or removal of vehicles.

Q. Are the Civil Enforcement Officers given incentives or targets?
A. No. Civil Enforcement Officers have no quotas or targets to meet and are not given any bonuses for issuing tickets.