When is a Penalty Charge Notice issued?
A Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is issued if your vehicle breaks parking regulations such as:
- parking on double yellow lines
- not displaying a valid pay and display ticket
- parking alongside a dropped kerb – vehicles displaying disabled badges are not exempt
- parking more than 50cm from the kerb
The charge for blocking dropped kerbs and parking more than 50cm from the kerb is £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days.
Portsmouth City Council has powers to operate civil parking enforcement, and employs Civil Enforcement Officers to ensure parking schemes and restrictions are followed. Penalty Charge Notices are issued under the Traffic Management Act 2004. You can read more about Penalty Charge Notice statistics and download the form for Challenging a Penalty Charge Notice.
Please visit the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) site for further information on Penalty Charge Notices and civil enforcement.
Alternatively, Know your parking rights offers advice on parking tickets and appeals.
Parking across dropped kerbs at residential properties
We only act on dropped kerbs leading to residential garages and driveways at the property owner’s request. The owner will need to prove that the dropped kerb is used for vehicle access. This means that no enforcement action is taken if a dropped kerb is no longer used – for example, where an extension has replaced a garage or driveway.
Penalty Charge Notices by post
The Traffic Management Act 2004 enables Portsmouth City Council to issue Penalty Charge Notices by post if:
- a vehicle drives away prior to issue
- a Civil Enforcement Officer is prevented (by force, threats of force, obstruction or violence) from issuing the notice to the driver
A postal Penalty Charge Notice will be sent to the registered keeper/owner of the vehicle within 14 days of the parking regulations being broken.
If you receive a Penalty Charge Notice
If you receive a Penalty Charge Notice you can either pay it, or appeal against it (see below). You will receive a discount if you pay within 14 days – please read your PCN for details.
You may pay by cash, cheque, postal order or a debit or credit card in the following ways:
- follow the link to pay a Penalty Charge Notice online using a debit or credit card
- phone 023 9268 8310 to pay with a debit or credit card during office hours, or 0800 876 6576 for our 24-hour automated payment system
- pay in person at the Civic Offices or at one of our area housing offices – addresses and maps are available on our Contacts Directory page
- send a cheque or postal order – not cash – to the parking office (address on our contact page). Please write the PCN number on the back of your cheque/postal order and make it payable to ‘Portsmouth City Council’
If you disagree with a Penalty Charge Notice
If you feel that you have been issued with a Penalty Charge Notice incorrectly, you may challenge it in writing only within 14 days:
If you challenge a PCN but are not successful, you will still be able to pay at the discounted rate – as long as your appeal is made within 14 days of the issue of the PCN.
If your challenge is unsuccessful, the registered owner/keeper of the vehicle may appeal further following the issue of the Notice to Owner which is sent after we receive their details from the DVLA.
If this appeal is not upheld, the registered owner/keeper may refer the case to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for independent adjudication.
Further information on appealing a PCN can be found on the Challenging a Penalty Charge Notice page.
If you do not pay your Penalty Charge Notice
If a PCN issued to your vehicle remains unpaid after the appeal process has been completed and a Charge Certificate has been issued, the council will register the amount outstanding as a debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre, Northampton County Court.
If the charge is still not paid we will instruct a bailiff to collect the outstanding debt owed – this can lead to considerable extra fees added by the bailiff company.
Once a warrant has been issued to a bailiff, the council is unable to accept payment or appeal directly – contact should be made with the bailiff concerned. We use two bailiffs: Marston Group and Whyte and co.
We only use bailiffs as a last resort – if you are having difficulty paying a PCN please contact us immediately. We may be able to set up a payment plan, but not after a warrant has been issued.
Fees charged by bailiffs are laid down in legislation – more fees may be added for further action taken by the bailiff, such as:
- the removal or storage of a vehicle
If you have any doubts regarding the identity of a bailiff enforcing a warrant on behalf of the council, check their details on the Certified Bailiff Register.
Plastic free penalty charge notices
Portsmouth City Council is starting a trial, over the summer, of biodegradable Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) bags to replace existing single use plastic. The PCN bags will change to yellow in colour, making them more obvious to drivers on the windscreen. When the driver throws the bag in the rubbish, it will biodegrade in the landfill in approximately six months.