Mitigating circumstances for appealing against a ticket

There are 8 official grounds for appealing against a ticket. They are available at Statutory grounds for appealing against a ticket.

Everyone has the right to appeal against the issue of a PCN. There are a number of reasons why a PCN may have been issued. A list is provided of some that may relate to your circumstances.

Examples of mitigating circumstances

1. Where the motorist claims to have become unwell while driving.
2. Where the motorist claims to be a doctor, nurse or other health specialist attending a patient.
3. Where the motorist stopped to use the toilet.
4. Where the motorist stopped to collect (prescribed) medication from a chemist.
5. Where the motorist was a patient visiting a doctor's surgery / hospital.
6. Where the motorist claims to have been recently bereaved.
7. Where the motorist was delayed in returning to their vehicle and parking time purchased had expired.
8. Where the motorist "fed" the Pay and Display machine by buying subsequent time to park in the same place or returned to the same place within a specified and prohibited time period.
9. Where the motorist left the vehicle parked without a valid ticket on display to obtain change.
10. Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of charges or restrictions in the car park relating to vehicle's class or weight.
11. Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of recent rise in tariff.
12. Where the motorist had parked with one or more wheels outside of a marked bay in a car park.
13. Where the motorist is a Blue Badge holder / transporting a Blue Badge holder and they did not have their Blue Badge and / or clock on display or could not be read or had expired or displayed incorrectly.
14. Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of the existence of a controlled parking zone (CPZ).
15. Where the motorist was displaying an expired authorisation to park, i.e. waiver, parking place suspension, residents permit ,visitors permit , contract permit, or staff permit.
16. Where the motorist is parked in contravention of a waiting / parking prohibition whilst displaying a resident’s visitor permit.
17. Where the motorist is a resident within a controlled parking zone and had parked in a residents bay without displaying a valid residents permit.
18. Where the motorist had parked incorrectly in a controlled bay on street.
19. Where the motorist assumed that they were entitled to "a period of grace" before the PCN was issued.
20. Where the motorist claims they were attending a funeral.
21. Where the motorist claims that snow, foliage, fallen leaves or flooding covered the signs or markings.
22. Where the motorist claims that their vehicle had broken down.
23. Where the motorist claims that they were attending an emergency or another vehicle that had broken down.
24. Where the motorist claims to have put money into the wrong ticket machine.
25. Where the vehicle in question was on police, fire brigade or ambulance duties.
26. Where the motorist claims to have been collecting or depositing monies at a bank.
27. Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of a temporary parking restriction or special event restriction.
28. Where the registered keeper liable for payment of the PCN is expected to be absent for a long period of time, e.g. is living abroad or is in prison.
29. Where the registered keeper liable for payment of the PCN is said to have died.
30. Where the vehicle driven by the motorist is diplomatically registered.
31. Where the motorist received a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from a Police officer when parked in the same location.
32. Where a Council Officer or Member parked in contravention and claims to have been on Council business.
33. Where the motorist stopped to drop off/ collect a passenger.
34. Where motorist was unaware of the Overnight Waiting Ban / Commercial Vehicle waiting restriction.
35. Where motorist states they were in police custody when PCN issued.
36. Where motorist states they were visiting a friend or relative in an emergency.
37. Where motorist claims there was no legal place to park.
38. Where motorist claims they were parked on private property.
39. Where motorist was delayed in returning to their vehicle parked in a limited waiting parking place.
40. Where motorist had parked while asking directions / opening gates to private property.
41. Where motorist stopped to answer mobile phone.
42. Where motorist states that the details on the PCN are incorrect, e.g. location.
43. Where motorist states they were unaware of enforcement on Bank / Public holidays / Sundays etc.
44. Where motorist states that restriction was marked after the vehicle had been parked.

More information about mitigating circumstances

1. Where the motorist claims to have become unwell while driving.

 MC1 Where the motorist claims to have become unwell while driving.
May accept representations May reject representations

If the motorist provides proof of a medical condition, temporary or permanent, that is consistent with the conditions described.

When the notes made by the Civil Enforcement Officers support the motorist’s representations.

If the motorist cannot provide some proof of a medical condition, temporary or permanent, consistent with the conditions described.

Where other evidence contradicts the motorists’ claims.

2. Where the motorist claims to be a doctor, nurse or other health specialist attending a patient

 MC2 Where the motorist claims to be a doctor, nurse or other health specialist attending a patient.
May accept representations May reject representations
If the motorist produces evidence, including the address that they were responding to an urgent medical call and there was no nearby legal parking place.

If motorist was not attending a patient in urgent circumstances or if there were legal parking spaces nearby.

If motorist was parked outside their practice or other place of work for any reason other than to collect supplies for an urgent call.

If motorist was parked in an area which does not correspond with claims made in representations, i.e. far from patient’s property, say, in a car park.

3. Where the motorist stopped to use the toilet.

 MC3 Where the motorist stopped to use the toilet.
May accept representations May reject representations
On production of medical evidence confirming a relevant medical condition and in support of the circumstances described in a representation. In all other circumstances.

4. Where the motorist stopped to collect (prescribed) medication from a chemist.

 MC4 Where the motorist stopped to collect (prescribed) medication from a chemist.
May accept representations May reject representations
Only in the most grave, urgent and exceptional of circumstances and the use of a ‘legal’ parking place would have caused an unacceptable delay and where evidence can be produced. In any lesser circumstances.

5. Where the motorist was a patient visiting a doctor's surgery / hospital.

 MC5 Where the motorist was a patient visiting a doctor's surgery / hospital.
May accept representations May reject representations
If the motorist can provide a letter from a doctor to confirm that the visit was very urgent and that they were unable to walk from the nearest legal parking space.

If the motorist was not the patient but only driving the vehicle carrying the patient.

If the motorist was attending a pre-arranged, non-urgent appointment.

If the motorist could reasonably have been expected to park legally elsewhere.

6. Where the motorist claims to have been recently bereaved

 MC6 Where the motorist claims to have been recently bereaved.
May accept representations May reject representations
If the motorist can provide a letter from a doctor to confirm that the visit was very urgent and that they were unable to walk from the nearest legal parking space. Only if there is a significant reason to doubt the sincerity of representations, i.e. the Civil Enforcement Officers notes indicate that the motorist was going about a normal day, say, shopping or working, or the bereavement is considered to be a long time ago.

7. Where the motorist was delayed in returning to their vehicle and parking time purchased had expired.

 MC7 Where the motorist was delayed in returning to their vehicle and parking time purchased had expired.
May accept representations May reject representations

If supported by appropriate evidence, the motorist’s representations claims that the delay in returning to the vehicle was caused by circumstances that were entirely unforeseen, unavoidable and exceptional.

If motorist’s vehicle had broken down, subject to concurrence with policy MC25, below)

If the motorist was unable to drive, since parking the vehicle.

If the delay described by the motorist was entirely avoidable, i.e. queuing in a shop/bank.

If the motorist simply underestimated the time needed and could have reasonably purchased more time, i.e. when conducting business, shopping or commuting.

If the motorist was unable to drive since parking due to excess alcohol in the body or had been detained and charged by the police.

8. Where the motorist "fed" the Pay and Display machine by buying subsequent time to park in the same place or returned to the same place within a specified and prohibited time period.

 MC8 Where the motorist "fed" the Pay and Display machine by buying subsequent time to park in the same place or returned to the same place within a specified and prohibited time period.
May accept representations May reject representations
If permission had been given and evidence of permission can be produced. If the motorist overstays initial period of time purchased or returns within a period of 'No return'.

9. Where the motorist left the vehicle parked without a valid ticket on display to obtain change.

 MC9 Where the motorist left the vehicle parked without a valid ticket on display to obtain change.
May accept representations May reject representations
If the motorist had not left the car park, or on-street pay and display area, while obtaining change and a ticket was purchased. If the Civil Enforcement Officer's notes indicate that the motorist returned to their vehicle, having completed their purpose for parking, while the PCN was being issued, i.e. carrying shopping, or had left vehicle in car park, or on-street pay and display area, while obtaining change.

10. Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of charges or restrictions in the car park relating to vehicle's class or weight

 MC10 Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of charges or restrictions in the car park relating to vehicle's class or weight.
May accept representations May reject representations

If reference to restrictions on tariff board(s) are incorrect or missing.

If the restrictions are new the Council may consider giving a warning if this is the first time a PCN has been issued in these circumstances.

In all other circumstances.

If the motorist has previously had a PCN cancelled for the same contravention and has been warned of the restrictions.

11. Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of recent rise in tariff.

 MC11 Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of recent rise in tariff.
May accept representations May reject representations

If statutory notices were not erected in accordance with procedural regulations.

If revised tariff is not on tariff board(s).

The Council may consider giving a warning if this is the first time a PCN has been issued in these circumstances.

Note: Parking Services always carry out leaflet drops two weeks prior to implementing any changes.

If statutory notices were erected in accordance with procedural regulations and tariff board(s) were correct.

If the motorist has previously had a PCN cancelled for the same contravention and has been warned of the new charges.

12. Where the motorist had parked with one or more wheels outside of a marked bay in a car park

 MC12 Where the motorist had parked with one or more wheels outside of a marked bay in a car park.
May accept representations May reject representations

Only in the most exceptional of circumstances that were outside the motorists control and are supported by incontrovertible evidence.

Otherwise

In no circumstances.

When clear and incontrovertible supporting evidence (photographs / sketch plan) is available.

 13. Where the motorist is a Blue Badge holder / transporting a Blue Badge holder and they did not have their Blue Badge and / or clock on display or could not be read or had expired or displayed incorrectly.

 MC13 Where the motorist is a Blue Badge holder / transporting a Blue Badge holder and they did not have their Blue Badge and / or clock on display or could not be read or had expired or displayed incorrectly.
May accept representations May reject representations

If it can be established that this is the motorist’s first contravention of this type and they can provide evidence that they are a Blue badge holder or were transporting a Blue Badge holder.

If the motorist has previously had a PCN cancelled for the same contravention and has been warned to display a valid badge/time clock, correctly in the future.

If the motorist was parked on a waiting restriction beyond the 3-hour time limit permitted by the Blue Badge Scheme, or on another restriction for which the Blue Badge does not provide an exemption.

 14. Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of the existence of a controlled parking zone (CPZ).

 MC14 Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of the existence of a controlled parking zone (CPZ).
May accept representations May reject representations
If it can be established that the signing and marking of the CPZ is at fault. In all other circumstances.

 15. Where the motorist was displaying an expired authorisation to park, i.e. waiver, parking place suspension, residents permit ,visitors permit , contract permit, or staff permit.

 MC15 Where the motorist was displaying an expired authorisation to park, i.e. waiver, parking place suspension, residents permit ,visitors permit , contract permit, or staff permit.
May accept representations May reject representations

If the renewal of the authorisation was delayed by administrative processes within Parking Services.

If it can be established that other reasonably unforeseen circumstances delayed the renewal of an authorisation to park, e.g. sickness on the part of the applicant or a postal dispute/delays (supported by appropriate evidence).

In all other circumstances.

In the event of more than one vehicle registration included on the permit, subsequent production of the permit will not necessarily cause automatic cancellation of the PCN as the permit may have been used on the other vehicle.

 16. Where the motorist is parked in contravention of a waiting / parking prohibition whilst displaying a resident’s visitor permit.

 MC16 Where the motorist is parked in contravention of a waiting / parking prohibition whilst displaying a resident’s visitor permit.
May accept representations May reject representations
In no circumstances. On all occasions.

 17. Where the motorist is a resident within a controlled parking zone and had parked in a residents bay without displaying a valid residents permit.

 MC17 Where the motorist is a resident within a controlled parking zone and had parked in a residents bay without displaying a valid residents permit.
May accept representations May reject representations

If the restrictions are new the Council may consider giving a warning if this is the first time a PCN has been issued in these circumstances.

If the motorist has recently moved into the property and can provide evidence of residency, for e.g. Council Tax bill etc.

If the motorist has previously had a PCN cancelled for the same contravention and has been warned of the restrictions.

18. Where the motorist had parked incorrectly in a controlled bay on street. 

 MC18 Where the motorist had parked incorrectly in a controlled bay on street.
May accept representations May reject representations
If it can be established that the motorist was genuinely loading or unloading, subject to compliance with policy S1.1 On all occasions

 19. Where the motorist assumed that they were entitled to "a period of grace" before the PCN was issued.

 MC19 Where the motorist assumed that they were entitled to "a period of grace" before the PCN was issued.
May accept representations May reject representations
In no circumstances. In all circumstances.

 20. Where the motorist claims they were attending a funeral.

 MC20 Where the motorist claims they were attending a funeral.
May accept representations May reject representations
If no evidence exists to the contrary, taking into account the sensitivity of this issue. Only if there is a significant reason to doubt the sincerity of the representations.

 21. Where the motorist claims that snow, foliage, fallen leaves or flooding covered the signs or markings.

 MC21 Where the motorist claims that snow, foliage, fallen leaves or flooding covered the signs or markings.
May accept representations May reject representations
If it can be established that such conditions prevailed and it is likely that signs and markings were obscured as claimed and there was no alternative indication of the restriction.

If it can be established that such conditions did not cause lines and signs to be obscured as claimed.

If the Civil Enforcement Officers notes, photographic evidence etc. directly contradict the motorist’s version of events.

If any reasonable alternative indication of the restriction was available to the motorist.

If the location of the contravention was unlikely to be subject to the natural conditions described by the motorist, i.e. it was under cover.

 22. Where the motorist claims that their vehicle had broken down.

 MC22 Where the motorist claims that their vehicle had broken down.
May accept representations May reject representations
If the motorist is able to provide evidence of a breakdown, i.e. proof of vehicle recovery or a bill of sale for repair or parts.

If the motorist is unable to provide evidence of any kind that their vehicle had broken down.

If the cause of the vehicle "breaking down" was due to negligence on the part of the motorist, i.e. the vehicle had not been properly maintained, had run out of petrol or water or a similar reason.

If the Civil Enforcement Officer's notes contradict the motorist’s version of events.

 23. Where the motorist claims that they were attending an emergency or another vehicle that had broken down.

 MC23 Where the motorist claims that they were attending an emergency or another vehicle that had broken down.
May accept representations May reject representations
If the motorist is able to provide reasonable proof of the emergency, i.e. a credible report of an accident or incident, or that they were attending to another vehicle that had broken down.

If the motorist is unable to provide evidence of any kind that they were attending an emergency or another vehicle which had broken down.

If the Civil Enforcement Officer's notes contradict the motorist’s version of events, i.e. the motorist was not seen attending an emergency or another vehicle which was broken down.

 24. Where the motorist claims to have put money into the wrong ticket machine.

 MC24 Where the motorist claims to have put money into the wrong ticket machine.
May accept representations May reject representations
If it is agreed that the position of the ticket machine used by the motorist is likely to cause confusion.

If the ticket machine used by the motorist is positioned in such a place that confusion is not likely.

If the motorist has had representations accepted for a similar contravention previously.

 25. Where the vehicle in question was on police, fire brigade or ambulance duties.

 MC25 Where the vehicle in question was on police, fire brigade or ambulance duties.
May accept representations May reject representations

If a senior officer of the service concerned, supports the representation by the motorist by supplying a letter on letterheaded paper, and there is no reason to doubt that the vehicle was engaged on emergency operational activities.

Note: A letter was sent out to all the Emergency Services in 2007 with guidance as to the appeals process should one of their vehicles be issued with a PCN.

In all other circumstances

 26. Where the motorist claims to have been collecting or depositing monies at a bank.

 MC26 Where the motorist claims to have been collecting or depositing monies at a bank.
May accept representations May reject representations

If the procedure explained in the motorist’s representations is consistent with the allowance for loading and unloading, see policy S1.1

If specific arrangements have been agreed and authorised.

If the vehicle in question was a security vehicle and evidence can be produced that the vehicle was engaged in the collection or deposit of money at a bank.

In all other circumstances

 27. Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of a temporary parking restriction or special event restriction.

 MC27 Where the motorist claims to have been unaware of a temporary parking restriction or special event restriction.
May accept representations May reject representations

If the motorist claims that there was no indication of the restriction, and the Civil Enforcement Officer's notes/photographs do not confirm that appropriate signing was in place

If the process followed to make the temporary order was defective in some way.

If the Civil Enforcement Officers notes / photographs confirm that the vehicle was parked in an area restricted by the Temporary Order or Notice, and that appropriate signing was in place and clearly visible.

 28. Where the registered keeper liable for payment of the PCN is expected to be absent for a long period of time, e.g. is living abroad or is in prison.

 MC28 Where the registered keeper liable for payment of the PCN is expected to be absent for a long period of time, e.g. is living abroad or is in prison.
May accept representations May reject representations
In no circumstances. On all occasions.

 29. Where the registered keeper liable for payment of the PCN is said to have died.

 MC29 Where the registered keeper liable for payment of the PCN is said to have died.
May accept representations May reject representations
Where the circumstances can be confirmed (by sensitive enquiry). Only if there is a significant evidence to doubt the sincerity of the representations.

 30. Where the vehicle driven by the motorist is diplomatically registered.

 MC30 Where the vehicle driven by the motorist is diplomatically registered.
May accept representations May reject representations

In all circumstances.

A Notice to Owner should never be sent to the keeper of a diplomatically registered vehicle.

CMBC will pass information concerning these debts on to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

[Source – Secretary of State’s Traffic
Management and Parking Guidance, Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations,
Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 and
Government Report on Review of Vienna
Convention…]

In no circumstances.

 31. Where the motorist received a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from a Police officer when parked in the same location.

 MC31 Where the motorist received a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from a Police officer when parked in the same location.
May accept representations May reject representations
To prevent 'double jeopardy', if confirmation provided by the police that proceedings for a criminal offence in connection with the same parking / waiting incident have been instituted. In all other circumstances.

32. Where a Council Officer or Member parked in contravention and claims to have been on Council business. 

 MC32 Where a Council Officer or Member parked in contravention and claims to have been on Council business.
May accept representations May reject representations
If the Officer / Member was carrying out emergency or other statutory work and the appeal is supported by Senior Management and providing evidence can be produced with details of the work being carried out. If it can be established that the Officer / Member could have reasonably parked elsewhere.

33. Where the motorist stopped to drop off/ collect a passenger. 

 MC33 Where the motorist stopped to drop off/ collect a passenger.
May accept representations May reject representations

If the circumstances are seen by the Civil Enforcement Officer.

If, in exceptional circumstances and subject to observations times, the motorist had to escort a passenger (child, elderly or disabled person) to home, or school.

If motorist was parked / stopped on school keep clear markings, pedestrian crossing, bus stop clearway etc.

34. Where motorist was unaware of the Overnight Waiting Ban / Commercial Vehicle waiting restriction. 

 MC34 Where motorist was unaware of the Overnight Waiting Ban / Commercial Vehicle waiting restriction.
May accept representations May reject representations
If motorist was instructed / authorised to park in contravention of the restriction by the police and evidence can be produced. In all other circumstances.

35. Where motorist states they were in police custody when PCN issued. 

 MC35 Where motorist states they were in police custody when PCN issued.
May accept representations May reject representations

If proof (from the Police) has been provided that the police had instructed the motorist to leave the vehicle.

If the time of arrest (proof required from the Police) provides confirmation that motorist was legally parked and was unable to move vehicle before the restriction started.

If no proof provided.

If vehicle could have been legally parked before arrest.

 36. Where motorist states they were visiting a friend or relative in an emergency.

 MC36 Where motorist states they were visiting a friend or relative in an emergency.
May accept representations May reject representations
If due to an emergency the parking contravention could not be avoided due to the exceptional nature of the incident.

If motorist has already received a PCN, which has been cancelled for the same reason.

If the Civil Enforcement Officers notes provide significant reason to doubt the sincerity of representation.

 37. Where motorist states that restriction was marked after the vehicle had been parked.

 MC37 Where motorist claims there was no legal place to park.
May accept representations May reject representations
Only in the most exceptional of circumstances. In the absence of exceptional circumstances.

38. Where motorist claims they were parked on private property.

 MC38 Where motorist claims they were parked on private property.
May accept representations May reject representations

If land search maps confirm location is private property and not subject of the relevant Traffic Regulation Order.

If there is insufficient evidence to establish location of vehicle.

In all other circumstances.

 39. Where motorist was delayed in returning to their vehicle parked in a limited waiting parking place.

 MC39 Where motorist was delayed in returning to their vehicle parked in a limited waiting parking place.
May accept representations May reject representations

If supported by appropriate evidence, the motorist's representations claim that the delay in returning to the vehicle was caused by circumstances that were entirely unforeseen, unavoidable and exceptional.

If motorist’s vehicle had broken down, subject to concurrence with policy MC25, above).

If the motorist was unable to drive, since parking the vehicle.

If the delay described by the motorist was not exceptional, i.e. queuing in a shop / bank.

If the motorist was unable to drive since parking due to excess alcohol in the body or had been were detained by the police for any reason, unless subsequently released without charge or proven innocent.

40. Where motorist had parked while asking directions / opening gates to private property. 

 MC40 Where motorist had parked while asking directions / opening gates to private property.
May accept representations May reject representations
If evidence provided by the Civil Enforcement Officer does not contradict representations. In all other circumstances.

41. Where motorist stopped to answer mobile phone. 

 MC41 Where motorist stopped to answer mobile phone.
May accept representations May reject representations
In no circumstances. On all occasions.

42. Where motorist states that the details on the PCN are incorrect, e.g. location. 

 MC42 Where motorist states that the details on the PCN are incorrect, e.g. location.
May accept representations May reject representations
If there is reason to doubt that the PCN was issued correctly, taking into account evidence provided by the Civil Enforcement Officer. If the PCN was fully and correctly completed.

43. Where motorist states they were unaware of enforcement on Bank / Public holidays / Sundays etc. 

 MC43 Where motorist states they were unaware of enforcement on Bank / Public holidays / Sundays etc.
May accept representations May reject representations
If the restrictions are new the Council may consider giving a warning if this is the first time a PCN has been issued in these circumstances. If the motorist has previously had a PCN cancelled for the same contravention and has been warned of the restrictions.

44. Where motorist states that restriction was marked after the vehicle had been parked. 

MC44 Where motorist states that restriction was marked after the vehicle had been parked.

May accept representations May reject representations
If records confirm that signing/lining/ placement of cones or suspension notices was likely to have taken place after the vehicle parked. If there is evidence to show that markings were already in place at the time of parking.