If a penalty charge for an alleged bus lane contravention is not paid within 28 days from the date of the penalty charge notice, or 14 days after the local authority rejects an informal challenge (whichever is the later). the local authority may issue an Enforcement Notice to the person appearing to them to be the owner of the vehicle. By the time you receive this notice you will have lost your right to pay at the reduced rate.
The Enforcement Notice will usually be served by post.
Your next steps:
You have 28 days, beginning with the date of service of that notice, to either:
pay the penalty charge at the full rate; or
Make formal representations to the local authority explaining why you think you should not have to pay the penalty. See making representations below.
Sample Enforcement Notice
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended)
London Local Authorities Act 1996 (as amended)
Penalty Charge Notice Number: [PCN number]
Vehicle Registration Number: [VRM]
Date of this Notice: [Issue date]
The Penalty Charge has not been paid
The penalty charge is £[full amount]. So far £[received payment] has been paid. Payment of £[balance] is now due. Before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the date that this notice was served (the date it was delivered), you must:
pay the Penalty Charge in full (see below for how to pay) or,
write and tell us why you think you should not have to pay it (see the Making Representations section overleaf).
DO NOT IGNORE THIS NOTICE. Do not pass this notice to the driver – you need to deal with it yourself.
If you have not paid or made representations before the end of the 28 day period, the charge may increase to £ [full amount + 50%] and we may serve a Charge Certificate seeking payment of this increased amount.
HOW TO PAY
BY POST: using this payment slip and sending it to [Payment address]. If you want a receipt, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope. Do not send cash through the post. Please make cheques and postal orders payable to “LB London” and write the penalty charge notice number on the back. Do not send post-dated cheques as they will not be accepted.
IN PERSON: [Address & Postcode] between 9:00am and 5:00pm on Monday to Friday. If you pay by cash it is very important to get a receipt, in case there is any later query about your payment).
BY TELEPHONE: [Payment number] between 9:00am and 5:00pm on Monday to Friday using a debit or credit card.
Penalty Charge Notice Number: AA12345678 VRM: A123BCD
issued in: XXXX Road at: 01:01 hours on: 02 April 2004
Only complete the details below if you are making payment by MASTERCARD, VISA, SWITCH or DELTA card.
Please debit my MasterCard / Visa / Switch / Delta card (delete as appropriate) Amount £
Card Number: _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (Switch 19 numbers)
Card Issue Date _ _ / _ _ Card Expiry Date _ _ / _ _ Switch Issue Number:
Name of Cardholder: Signature of Cardholder: Date:
Keeper Address 1
Keeper Address 2
Keeper Address 3
On [Issue date] a Penalty Charge Notice(PCN) was issued by the Council with respect to the above vehicle, for the following alleged contravention:
BEING IN A BUS LANE
in: [Contravention location] At: [Contravention time] On: [Contravention date]
This alleged contravention was seen and recorded by a camera operator who was observing real time pictures from a road side camera at the time stated.
The grounds on which you may make formal representations are set out below. These are the only grounds on which you may appeal against a bus lane Penalty Charge Notice. However you can also sight compassionate grounds to the local authority.
1. There was no breach of the bus lane order/ regulation
This is the ground upon which most representations are made. For example, the vehicle was not in a bus lane during its hours of operation/the restrictions were not properly signed or lined, the vehicle was exempt from the restrictions, the vehicle was making a permitted left turn, the penalty exceeded the amount applicable etc
2. I was not the owner at the material time
For example, the vehicle was sold before or bought after the contravention occurred. You MUST supply the full name and address of the buyer or seller if you have it. Note: under the London Local Authorities Act 1996 the owner, not the driver, is normally liable for a penalty charge
3. The person who was in control of the vehicle at the time was in control without my consent
For example, the vehicle was driven in the bus lane after being stolen or even a friend who didn't have permission.
4. The police are taking action
Instead of the local authority imposing a civil penalty under their powers; the police are taking criminal action against the driver for the alleged breach. This ground applies if the driver of the vehicle has received a Fixed Penalty Notice or a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the police for the same breach. A local authority cannot pursue a Bus lane PCN if the police are taking action.
Even if one of these grounds does not apply, you may ask the local authority to consider other reasons for canceling the penalty, such as compassionate grounds or mitigation. However, the local authority is only legally bound to cancel the Enforcement Notice if they accept that one of the grounds above applies although they do have a duty to consider compassionate grounds as well.
When making representations you should:
• explain your reasons fully and carefully;
• send clear copies of any relevant documents, keeping the originals;
• Make sure the local authority RECEIVES your representations within 28 days. They may disregard representations received later. They may consider late representations, but do not have to.
The local authority will then consider your representations
The local authority must:
• consider representations received in time;
• decide whether to accept them or reject them;
• send to the person making the representations either
- a Notice of Acceptance, if it accepts them; or
- a Notice of Rejection and a Notice of Appeal form, if it does not accept them
if it has accepted the representations, cancel the Enforcement Notice
The Adjudicators have decided that a local authority should normally respond to representations within 3 months.
Follow us on twitter: twitter.com/penaltycharge