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Parking Fines: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Season Ticket?

Season Tickets are not valid on Short Stay car parks. A season ticket is a parking ticket which allows you to park in the Long Stay off-street car parks without purchasing a pay and display ticket. There are large savings in purchasing a season ticket. In most cases the purchase of a season ticket is cheaper if you park for more than 150 days a year in our car parks. In certain car parks the season ticket becomes the best option after just 120 days. In addition customers appreciate the added convenience of not having to have the correct change when parking the car.

What is an Penalty Charge Notice?

Dudley MBC issues parking tickets in its car parks. These are commonly known as “Penalty Charge Notices”. They are then processed by the local authority.

Enforcement is through the civil justice system rather than in the Magistrates Court, and therefore Councils enforcing parking restrictions under the Act are said to be operating “decriminalised parking enforcement”. The parking tickets issued under decriminalised parking are known as Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).

Not all Local Authorities issue parking penalties under the same government legislation. Currently in Dudley, Penalty Charge Notices are issued within the Traffic Management Act 2004.

How do I avoid an Penalty Charge?

  • Display your pay & display tickets and permits clearly. A Parking Attendant must be able to read the details. Check your ticket/permit from the outside of the vehicle before leaving.
  • Ensure your ticket or permit is valid for the whole length of your stay.
  • Look for, read and follow instructions on permanent and temporary signs and surface markings.
  • Do not park in a space designated for a motorcycle or a Blue Badge holder.
  • Ensure your entire vehicle is inside the bay markings (i.e. between two lines) – it is an offence not to do so. This also applies to disabled badge holders. Do not park in aisles or on yellow lines.

For pay and display parking:

  • If you plan to park in a pay and display space, make sure you have plenty of change.
  • Follow the instructions on the pay machine and check all coins have been accepted before obtaining a ticket.
  • Read the information on your printed ticket to see when it expires. Then leave yourself time to get back to your vehicle before the expiry time.
  • Use the adhesive backing on the ticket to display it on the inside of your windscreen, next to where the tax disc should be. Check that it's firmly fixed. Non adhesive tickets should be clearly displayed on the dashboard.
  • If a pay and display machine is not working, either park somewhere else or use another machine in the same car park. If none of the machines in the car park are working leave a note on your vehicle and report the fault as soon as possible by telephoning 0300 555 2345.
  • Pay & display tickets are not transferable between car parks.
  • Pay & display tickets are not transferable between vehicles.

Can I use my Blue Badge on Pay & Display car parks?

Yes, but certain restrictions apply. The Blue Badge Scheme does not apply on private roads or in off-street car parks. However, Dudley's Parking Management run Pay & Display car parks do allow free parking for up to 3 hours on Short Stay car parks, and free parking for all day on Long Stay car parks, when valid Blue Badges are displayed. Marked Bays must be used and the named badge holder must be in the vehicle. The Blue Badge must be displayed on top of the dashboard or fascia panel of a vehicle with the front of the badge (i.e. the side showing the wheelchair-user symbol) facing forward, so that the relevant details are legible from outside of the vehicle. On Short Stay car parks the parking disc (clock) must be displayed and set to show the time of arrival.

Avoid penalties by keeping your owners' records up-to-date

If you sell your vehicle, it is your legal responsibility to update your ownership records and to notify the DVLA in Swansea. If you don't, you will be responsible for any parking penalties.

What should I do if I get an Penalty Charge?

Don't ignore it! If you don't pay or submit an appeal against the Charge within 14 days, you will have to pay the full Penalty Charge instead of the discounted amount. If you don't think you should have received a Charge, read about how to appeal against an Penalty Charge.

Please don't argue with the Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) if you receive an Penalty Charge. You may request that the attendant records your comments, but the attendant has no power to cancel or "tear up" an Penalty Charge once it has been issued.

How do I cut the cost of my Charge?

Pay within 14 days and your Charge is at the discount rate. The amount to pay will be printed on the Penalty Charge Notice. If you're paying by mail, please ensure you leave time for delivery. You will be responsible if your payment is delayed for any reason.

How do I pay my Penalty Charge?

You can pay online, by phone, by post or in person. Read about how to pay an Penalty Charge.

How do I appeal against my fine?

Read about how to appeal against an Penalty Charge. Please note that you can't challenge your parking fine by telephone.

If we accept your reasons, we will cancel the notice. If not, you may be allowed another 14 days from the date of our reply to pay the Charge at discounted rate. After this the full Penalty Charge amount will be due.

What do I do if…My vehicle had broken down?

A parking attendant may not be able to tell that your vehicle has broken down. If you receive an Penalty Charge in this circumstance, write to us to appeal and include a garage invoice or work sheet as proof your vehicle required work.

What do I do if… What if I had lost my car keys?

Report the loss to the Police and obtain a lost property number. Describe the circumstances in a written appeal and quote the Police Station and lost property number.

What do I do if… I had a medical emergency?

Write to us to appeal explaining the situation and include a letter/document from the hospital or doctor as proof.

My appointment overran at the dentist, doctor or meeting?

You are responsible for making sure you have paid for enough parking time. You must pay the Charge.

I thought I was legally parked, but I made a mistake?

You must pay the Charge. It is your responsibility to read and obey the signs and markings.

I didn't receive a parking ticket on my vehicle?

Write to us explaining the situation. We will check the evidence held for the case including any digital photos of your vehicle and the parking attendant's notes taken at the time the Penalty Charge was issued, and let you know our decision.

The vehicle is owned by a hire/lease company?

If you are an employee of a hire/lease company, send us a copy of the rental agreement in which the hirer has accepted liability for parking penalties. If you were driving a hired or leased car, you are responsible for paying the Penalty Charge.

I am the owner of the vehicle but not the driver?

You must either pay the Charge, or inform the Council in writing of the full name and address of the driver or person responsible.

I am the driver of the vehicle but not the owner?

If you were driving the vehicle at the time the Penalty Charge was issued, you must either pay or appeal against the Charge. If you do not do one of these within 28 days, the owner of the vehicle becomes responsible.

Can I pay the fine in instalments?

No, you must pay the full amount. In cases of severe financial hardship the Council may use its discretion on receipt of a request in writing giving full circumstances, you should supply copies of documentation to support your request.

Do I get a Reminder?

A reminder is not required to be sent however if, after 28 days from the issue of the Penalty Charge it remains unpaid, a letter will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. This letter serves as a reminder that the Charge remains unpaid and also gives the owner the opportunity to make a representation.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Although the Local Authority have taken over responsibility for enforcement of most on street parking contraventions the police will still issue Fixed Penalty Notices for certain offences such as footway parking, and obstruction.

Further information on the West Midlands Police, who are the responsible parking authority for FPN, is available on their website.

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