Paying, challenging or appealing a Penalty Charge Notice (Parking Ticket)

Please allow 24 hours after the issue of the Penalty Charge Notice before making payment. Charges are reduced by 50% for prompt payment before the end of the 14 day discount period

If you park in breach of local parking restrictions (displayed on signs and/or lines), you may receive a parking fine, known as a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

A Penalty Charge Notice issued will be £70.00 for the higher level and £50.00 for the lower charge. The charge will be reduced by 50% for prompt payment before the end of the 14 day discount period. 

Lower level PCN's are issued for failure to pay and display, or overstaying a parking ticket and are considered to be less serious, generally if you are allowed to park somewhere but you breach the restriction you will be subject to the lower level PCN charge.

Parking on yellow lines or parking in a bay reserved for residents or disabled badge holders are treated as higher level PCN's, if you shouldn't be parked some where because there is a more serious restriction then you will be subject to a higher level PCN.

How to pay

If you pay this PCN then you will forfeit your right to appeal. Do not make payment if you want to challenge this. The Local Government Ombudsman is unlikely to consider this case if the formal appeal route available to you has not been followed.

Charges are reduced by 50% for prompt payment before the end of the 14 day discount period.

  • Pay your parking ticket online
  • Pay by phone on 03300 882927 
  • Pay by post - your cheque or crossed postal order must be made payable to Milton Keynes Council and sent to:

Milton Keynes Council
PO Box 1549

Objecting to your PCN

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.

If you receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) 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 as set out below.

You can phone 01604 625632 for any queries, but you can’t challenge a penalty charge notice by phone.

If you want to challenge the PCN you must do so in writing. 

  • Online where you can view images of your alleged contravention
  • or by post to: Milton Keynes Council, PO Box 1549, Northampton, NN1 9JF

You must include:

  • your penalty charge notice number, your vehicle registration number, and your full address including postcode
  • as much detail as possible to support your challenge
  • any evidence including photos that support your challenge

You should set out the reasons why you think the PCN was incorrectly or unfairly issued. 

If we receive your appeal within 14 calendar days from the date of PCN issue, and decide not to cancel it, we will extend the discount payment period for a further 14 days from the date of our response. If your appeal is successful the charge will be cancelled and you will be notified.

If you are not happy with our decision, you do have further rights of appeal at later stages. You can also take your case to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, an independent tribunal. For information on formally appealing against the issue of a Penalty charge Notice, please visit the Traffic Penalty Tribual  or  Patrol websites. 

Unacceptable reasons – we will not cancel your PCN if:

  • You were delayed on your return to your car because you were held up in a queue or your meeting overran
  • You did not realise that you had to pay for parking on a Sunday
  • You did not realise that you had to pay to park in that location
  • You did not realise that you were parked in a restricted bay, e.g. disabled bay, resident permit holder bay
  • You were only parked for a few minutes
  • You have been parking in the same place for years and have not previously received a PCN
  • You do not have enough money to pay the charge
  • Other vehicles were parked in the same manner and did not receive a PCN
  • There was nowhere else to park
  • The signs are too small. 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.

Observation Periods

The following are discretional observation or ‘grace’ periods that we allow.

  1. Failure to pay and display: 5 minutes (to acquire ticket from machine, not to get change or to pay by phone)
  2. Overstay on a pay and display ticket: 10 minutes
  3. Loading/unloading (DYL/SYL): 2 minute observation period to look for loading/unloading activity

Postal Penalty Charge Notices

Milton Keynes Council issue these notices where vehicles have driven away before the PCN can be completed and issued to the motorist or attached to the vehicle. The Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) will be required to provide evidence that the PCN was 'in production' and would otherwise have to be cancelled on return to the parking office.

Legal Information

Informal challenges

If you make a challenge during the 14-day discount period we will place your PCN on hold until we respond. If your challenge is unsuccessful you can still pay at the discounted amount if paid within 14 days of the rejection letter.

Please don’t write to us again until you receive a Notice to Owner which is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. 

Formal appeals

If the penalty has not been paid within the 28 day payment period, a letter will be issued to the vehicles registered owner (Notice to Owner). The Notice to Owner explains the grounds for challenging the PCN.  If your formal appeal is unsuccessful you may need to pay the charge in full.  The council will send you a 'Notice of Rejection', explaining the reasons that your challenges have been rejected. This letter will include details of how you can formally appeal online to Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

Appeals to Traffic Penalty Tribunal

You can only appeal once you have received your 'Notice of Rejection'.

Please refer to the site for further information on how to appeal and the grounds of appeal on which an adjudicator can cancel a PCN.  The adjudicator will examine your case and their decision is legally binding on both parties.

They have the authority to over-ride the council's decision and they can instruct the council to cancel a PCN. However, it is 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, eg, 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 my consent.
  • I was not the owner at the time the alleged parking contravention occurred.
  • There has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the local authority.
  • We 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.

Most adjudicator decisions are made online and are called e-decisions, or you can choose to have a phone hearing .Further details on the appeal process can be found on the official Traffic Penalty Tribunal web-site. 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.

Last Updated: 18 November 2020