Parking - Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if I get a parking ticket?
- The parking penalty enforcement process (PDF, 196KB)
- What does decriminalised mean?
- Formally appealing
- What if I don’t pay?
- PCN charges
What do I need to know so that I don't get a parking ticket?
What other information might I find useful?
- Parking map (also shows costs to park)
- On-street parking enforcement - wheel clamps and removal of vehicles
- Double Yellow Lines
- Motorbike parking
Milton Keynes operates a decriminalised parking scheme, under the Traffic Management Act 2004. This means that certain non-endorsable parking contraventions can be enforced by the council, or by the agents working on the council’s behalf.
As the scheme is decriminalised, if you receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) on your vehicle for parking in breach of the regulations, you cannot appeal through the courts. However, there is a special tribunal set up to adjudicate over PCN disputes called the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. You cannot appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal until you have made formal representations to the council after the service of the Notice to Owner.
If your representations are rejected, the council will send you a 'Notice of Rejection', explaining the reasons that your representations have been rejected. This letter will also contain details on how to formally appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. They have the authority to override the council's decision and they can instruct the council to cancel a PCN. However, Traffic Penalty Tribunal are only able to allow an appeal that falls within 1 of 8 statutory grounds, listed below. If your appeal does not fall within one of the grounds below, you are still allowed to submit the appeal, but the Traffic Penalty Tribunal adjudicator cannot, by law, allow an appeal for any reason other than those listed below, e.g. mitigating circumstances cannot be taken into account.
Grounds of appeal:
- The alleged parking contravention did not occur
- When the vehicle was parked it had been taken without the owner's consent
- You were not the owner at the time the alleged parking contravention occurred
- There has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the local authority
- You are a vehicle hire firm and have provided the name and address of the hirer
- The penalty exceeded the relevant amount (for example, the sum printed on the PCN document differed from the sum stated in the Traffic Regulation Order)
- The relevant Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) was invalid (only applicable if the TRO has been found to be defective by the High Court)
- There has been compelling reasons why, in the particular circumstances of the case, the local authority should cancel the PCN
You can either opt for a personal hearing whereby you can attend in person and advise the adjudicator of the circumstances, or a postal hearing whereby you send all evidence to the adjudicator and the council does the same. You are now also able to request a phone hearing. Further details on the appeal process can be found on the official Traffic Penalty Tribunal website. You cannot ask for the process to be brought forward, and are unable to appeal to Traffic Penalty Tribunal until you have received the Notice of Rejection from Milton Keynes Council.
If you ignore the Notice to Owner, or appeal and your appeal is rejected and you do not make payment, the council will send a Charge Certificate (red letter) to the registered keeper of the vehicle with DVLA. At this stage, a 50% surcharge is added.
Milton Keynes Council under the Traffic Management Act (TMA) 2004 operates a 2 tier penalty system depending upon the severity of the contravention committed. Parking where you are allowed to park, but breaching the regulations such as overstaying in a pay and display bay, will be subject to a lower penalty of £50 (reduced to £25 if paid within 14 days). Parking somewhere you shouldn’t, such as on yellow lines, will be subject to a higher penalty of £70 (reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days). £70 is the current penalty for all contraventions in Milton Keynes. For details of which contraventions are subject to the higher and lower level charge please click here to view the TMA 2004 tier Parking Charges Table
Payment must be made within 14 days from the service of the Charge Certificate, or the outstanding amount will be registered as a debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC), a special County Court that deals with parking and traffic fines. Registration at TEC is an electronic process; an open hearing does not take place whereby you are able to attend and represent yourself.
The council notifies the registered keeper after the case has been registered at TEC. The keeper then has 28 days to make payment of the charge plus court costs. Failure to do this results in the debt being passed to the council's certificated bailiffs, who are able to seize and sell goods to recover the charge, and their own costs, which can be quite significant.
Milton Keynes Council under the Traffic Management Act (TMA) 2004 operates a 2 tier penalty system depending upon the severity of the contravention committed.
Parking where you are allowed to park, but breaching the regulations, such as overstaying in a pay and display bay will be subject to a lower penalty of £50 (reduced to £25 if paid within 14 days). Parking somewhere you shouldn’t, such as on yellow lines, will be subject to a higher penalty of £70 (reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days). £70 is the current penalty for all contraventions in Milton Keynes. For details of which contraventions are subject to the higher and lower level charge please click here to view the Parking Charges Table.
All signing on the public highway must adhere to the government's statutory directive, called 'Traffic Signs, Regulations and General Directions 2016'. This specifies the size, shape, wording, location, etc. of signing. Milton Keynes Council is not permitted to deviate from this document, by, for example, erecting larger signs than those permitted. Therefore, you cannot successfully appeal against the issue of a PCN on the basis that, in your opinion, the signs are too small. Central Government decides on factors such as this, rather than the individual council.
Milton Keynes Council runs Residential, CMK Carers, Hotels Commuter and Market Trader permit schemes. We also offer Employee, Commuter and Car Share permits. See the Parking Permits page.
Milton Keynes Council does not currently clamp or remove vehicles that are parked in contravention of parking restrictions either on the public highway or in its off-street car parks. However, if a Penalty Charge Notice remains unpaid, the debt is passed to the council's certificated bailiffs. On occasions, the bailiffs will clamp and/or remove a vehicle if they have been unsuccessful in recovering the debt owed by other means. In addition to this, abandoned vehicles and vehicles without a valid vehicle excise licence can be clamped and/or removed.
Milton Keynes Council would not generally implement parking restrictions such as double yellow lines in isolated locations unless there is a genuine road safety concern normally substantiated by a collision history. The remoteness from the normal beats of our parking enforcement team mean that they would receive minimal enforcement, particularly in the evenings and weekends. To implement waiting restrictions involves the making of a Traffic Regulation Order which is the legal document that makes the restrictions enforceable. The making of a Traffic Regulation Order consists of a lengthy and costly legal procedure. Should parked vehicles cause a serious obstruction, the local Police Officers are best placed to assist in the matter.
The Police have the powers to issue fines, or in some cases remove vehicles, that are parked in an obstructive manner. This may involve blocking a private driveway, or walkway, or parking in such a manner so as to prevent emergency vehicles free access through a street. Please call 101 to report an obstruction.
When can the council become involved?
The council only has the powers to issue penalty fines for vehicles that are parked in contravention of a legal parking restriction, which will be shown by signs and lines on site, for example, a double yellow line or a resident permit parking restriction. If there are no signs and/or lines, it is likely that the matter will need to be addressed with the police (see above).
What isn't classed as obstruction?
Most roads are public highway, meaning that all users have equal access. You do not have a right to park on the road outside of your property, and if someone else parks there very little can be done unless they are actually blocking your access (see 'Obstruction' above). Similarly, if someone is parked in an inconsiderate manner but there is no restriction shown by lines and signs, and they are not obstructing the highway, very little can be done by either the council or police.
PCN - Penalty Charge Notice - the parking ticket that is affixed to your vehicle
Notice to Owner - the green letter sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle with DVLA after approximately 28 days after the issue of the PCN, to advise of the unpaid charge.
TPT - Traffic Penalty Tribunal is an independent adjudicating service on PCN's in England and Wales.
Charge Certificate - the red letter sent to the registered keeper, prior to registration at court, to advise the keeper of the outstanding charge. A 50% surcharge is added at this stage.
TEC - Traffic Enforcement Centre - unpaid PCN's are electronically registered and turned into debts.
Certificated Bailiffs - bailiffs working for the council that have been certificated for their good practice.
Last Updated: 10 July 2020