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Parking Fines

 
 

What Has Happened:

From 31st March 2008 Barrow Borough Council acting on behalf of Cumbria County Council, the Highway Authority, will be responsible for the on and off street parking enforcement under the Traffic Management Act 2004 for Civil Parking Enforcement.  This replaces the Road Traffic Act 1991 under which the Borough has enforced since September 2001.  The Council employ Civil Enforcement Officers (parking) to enforce all yellow lines and other parking restrictions throughout the Borough which covers Barrow, Dalton, Lindal and Askam.  This includes all off-street car parks managed by the Borough Council. There are two main differences that affect motorists under the Traffic management Act. Most Penalty Charge Notices will reduce.  There will be two different levels of Penalty Charge Notices (differential charging), for example a vehicle parked on a yellow line restriction will be issued a PCN at the higher rate of £70 (£35 if paid within 14 days) whilst a vehicle parked over time is not deemed to be as serious a contravention and would therefore be issued with a PCN at the lower ate of £50 (£25 if paid within 14 days).
 
Secondly under the Road Traffic Act, the Notice is only deemed served when it is either fixed to the vehicle or handed to the motorist.  Under the Traffic management Act, A Notice can be issued through the post if the motorist drives away or the Civil Enforcement Officer is prevented from placing the PCN on the vehicle.
 
The Police will continue to enforce clearways on specific lengths of the A590 Trunk Road, through the Borough and deal with obstructions on the highway.
 
Streets and car parks are patrolled by Civil Enforcement Officers employed by the Local Authority.  When they find a car that is parked in contravention of the regulations, they will issue a Penalty Charge Notice from their hand held computers.
 

And Why:

On-street parking has historically been provided by the local highway authority and enforced by traffic wardens operating under the Police.  This includes all limited waiting parking places, all single and double yellow line waiting restrictions and other areas such as loading and disabled parking bays.
 
In April 2000 Cumbria Constabulary removed all traffic wardens in the County.
Changes in the law brought about by the Road Traffic Act 1991 provides for the decriminalisation of most non-endorsable on-street parking offences.  This also includes Bus Lane Contraventions from 1st June 2001.
 

Penalty Charge Notices (PCN's)

Motorists are required to abide by the parking restrictions, which are shown by the signs and lines on the street.  The Council appointed Civil Enforcement Officers will issue all offending vehicles with a parking ticket called a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).  This also includes off-street car parks operated by the Borough Council.  The liability for paying the parking penalty lies with the registered owner of the car, except for hire cars when it is the hirer under a hire agreement.
 
You will be liable to get a PCN if you ignore the following:
  • Double Yellow Lines - no parking at any time.
  • Single Yellow Lines - no parking during hours indicated on the plate.
  • Loading ban - yellow lines with kerb markings.  No disabled badge parking permitted
  • Disc Zones - no parking unless parking disc displayed in vehicle.  No parking for longer than hours indicated on time plate.
  • Car Park Pay and Display Machines - no parking unless appropriate fee paid as indicated on each machine.
  • Residents' Parking Schemes - no parking without displaying a valid permit or disc.
  • Disabled Parking Bays - no parking at any time except where a valid Disabled Badge is displayed in a vehicle.
  • Loading Bays - no parking during hours indicated on time plate, except goods vehicles while actively loading or unloading.
  • School Keep Clear - no stopping on school keep clear zigzag markings.
  • Restricted Zone - the restriction is for a zone and not a specific part of a street.  There will be a sign at the entrance of the zone advising motorists they cannot park anywhere within the zone.  There is no requirement of yellow lines within a zone.
These are only the most common forms of illegal parking and do not cover all situations in which you would be issued a PCN.

 

What Happens if you receive a PCN?

  1. Initially a PCN will cost either £70 or £50 depending on the contravention (see individual PCNs).  Motorists who pay this within 14 days will receive 50% discount.
  2. If payment is not received within 14 days, the owner of the vehicle will be sent a statutory notice known as a Notice to Owner (NTO), which would allow them to pay the full £70/£50 or appeal.
  3. If payment or representations are still not made within 28 days of the NTO the Council will issue a Charge Certificate, the cost of the original penalty will increase by 50%.
  4. If the Charge Certificate is not paid the case will be registered as a civil debt at the County Court and this registration process increases the cost of the penalty by a further £5 registration fee.  The penalty charges associated with PCN's are civil debts, due to the local authority and enforceable through a streamlined version of the normal civil debt recovery process.
  5. The Council has the option to recover any unpaid debts by the use of Bailiffs.

Payment

Parking fines can be paid online, by post or by telephone.  You can pay your PCN in the following ways -  personal cheque, credit/debit cards. A bar code letter can be issued to enable payment at the post office or any paypoint outlet displaying the yellow paypoint symbol. Full instructions on where and how payment can be made will be given with every PCN issued. Payment can be made during office hours on 01229 876390 or on the 24 hour payment line 08456031510.
You may also pay online at www.barrowbc.gov.uk.
 

Appeals

If you wish to challenge the issue of the PCN, your appeal must be put in writing and sent to:
 
The Parking Manager,
Borough of Barrow-in-Furness,
Town Hall,
Barrow-in-Furness,
Cumbria LA14 2LD
 
or, be sent by fax or e-mail (see Contact Details at the bottom of this page).
 
 
If your appeal is received after 14 days from the date of issue of the PCN, you will lose the opportunity to pay the reduced charge.
 

The Appeals Process

Following the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) the driver of the vehicle can make an informal representation to the Council if they believe they have grounds for appeal.  The Council will consider the appeal and will either:-
  1. accept the appeal and cancel the PCN.  In this case, no payment will be required.
  2. reject the appeal and advise the motorist of the reason why  the appeal has been rejected.
If the informal appeal has been rejected by the Council, full details of how the Registered Keeper can make a formal appeal will be stated in the letter of rejection.  This is the last point at which the 50% prompt payment discount will be accepted.  Once a Notice To Owner (NTO) is served on the Registered Keeper, the full fine as shown on the PCN will become payable.
 
A Registered Keeper who receives an NTO and believes they were legally parked can make formal representations to the Council.  The Traffic Management Act sets out the grounds only on which you can make representations.  These are the only legal grounds for claiming that the PCN was incorrectly issued:
  • The alleged contravention did not occur
  • The penalty exceeded the relevant amount applicable to the circumstances of the case
  • The Order which is alleged to have been contravened in relation to the vehicle concerned, except where it is an order to which Part VI of Schedule 9 to the 1984 Act (a) applies, is invalid
  • You were not the owner/keeper of the vehicle at the time of the contravention
  • The vehicle had been permitted to remain at rest in the place in question by a person who was in control of the vehicle without the consent of the owner 
  • You are a hire firm and have supplied the name of the person hiring the vehicle under a formal hire agreement
  • There had been a procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority
  • In a case where a penalty charge notice was served by post on the basis that a civil enforcement officer was prevented by some person from fixing it to the vehicle concerned or handing it to the owner or person in charge of the vehicle, that no civil enforcement officer was so prevented
  • That the notice to owner should not have been served because:-

           (1) The penalty charge had already been paid in full;

            (ii) The penalty charge had been paid, reduced by the amount of any discount set  in accordance with Schedule 9 to the 2004 Act, within the period specified in paragraph 1(h) of the Schedule to the General Regulations.

The Council will consider your representation and if you have sufficient grounds, the Council will cancel the PCN and no payment will be required.
 
If the Council rejects the representation and the Registered Keeper is still not satisfied, they can appeal against the decision to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Service where the appeals are dealt with by an independent adjudicator.  The adjudicator deals with the appeals by post or, if the owner requests, at a personal hearing.  The adjudicator's ruling is final.  Details of the Adjudication Appeals procedure will be included in the letter of rejection.
 
Information regarding the appeals process is available on the website for the Traffic Penalty tribunal  for England and Wales http://www.patrol-uk.info.
 

Penalty Charges - What the Money is Spent on:

Prior to the introduction of decriminalised parking enforcement in September 2001, the money collected from parking tickets issued by the police had gone directly to Central Government.  Under the new arrangements the Local Authority in this case, Barrow Borough Council, will retain the proceeds from the penalty charges to finance the parking enforcement system and any surplus will be spent on local transport measures to benefit the local community.
  • Any surplus income from Penalty Charge Notices must be used for traffic management purposes, under the provisions of section 55 of the road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.  This includes spending directly related to parking, public transport and highway management.