With parking tickets given out for the tiniest of indiscretions, you’re more likely to get stung by a traffic warden than ever before. If you’re in the wrong you should pay up and put it down to experience, but if you reckon you’ve been given a ticket unfairly, you can appeal against it.
Find out the grounds on which you can appeal from your local council or an independent adjudicator (parkingandtrafficappeals.gov.uk for London; trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk for the rest of England and Wales).
If you’re in the wrong you should pay up and put it down to experience
The first step is to write to the local authority that issued the ticket, explaining why you disagree with it. The address for this will be printed on your ticket. Include any evidence, such as a pay-and-display ticket or a timed receipt showing you were collecting items from a shop.
If relevant, include in your evidence photographs of the street showing the visibility of signs and lines in relation to your vehicle. As long as you write within 14 days, you will still be offered the early-payment discount if the council rejects your representation.
If your initial representation is rejected, you’ll be sent a Notice to Owner ordering you to pay. This will give details of how to appeal officially to the council. You have 28 days to pay or appeal.
If the council rejects your appeal, it will send you a form that you can use to appeal to the independent adjudicators mentioned earlier. You have 28 days to make this final appeal. The adjudicator will write back with the date of your hearing or when your postal appeal is likely to be considered.
The council should send you its evidence against you before your hearing. The hearing is informal, conducted over a desk in a normal office, or your appeal can be heard over the phone by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal outside London. The adjudicator will explain his or her decision at the hearing or by post, usually within 21 days. The decision is binding.