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Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) Guidance

Our aim is to take all enforcement in Runnymede in a fair manner, to benefit all those who live, work or visit for pleasure whilst deterring inconsiderate or dangerous parking and driving practices. Any driver who fails to adhere to the restrictions is liable to receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)

PCNs can be issued by Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) patrolling the borough by vehicle or on foot. A PCN issued on street will generally be served by either being affixed to the vehicle or by being handed to the person appearing to be the driver. In instances where a vehicle is driven away after the PCN has been printed or where the CEO is prevented from serving it, the PCN may be served by post.

Motorists in receipt of a PCN are legally entitled to challenge the Notice, if they believe that a legal exemption applies or feel that there are mitigating circumstances that need to be considered. The process for this is detailed on the PCN itself. Any motorist challenging a PCN should ensure that they provide full details of the reason for their challenge, with supporting evidence where appropriate. 

Alongside the legal grounds for challenging a PCN, the Council will consider any mitigating factors presented by the motorist. The Council has the discretion to cancel any PCNs where they feel the mitigation presented is sufficient to warrant the cancellation of the PCN. This document outlines the ‘exercise of discretion’ and provides ‘examples of discretion’

The exercise of discretion

The exercise of our discretionary power is undertaken by our back office Parking Administrator (PAs) as part of their role considering challenges against PCNs. Our PAs are fully trained in the relevant traffic legislation and have received guidance and training on how to apply discretion. In exercising our discretion to cancel a PCN we will judge each case on its own merits, act fairly and proportionately and with due regard to the public interest. If you think you have been issued with a PCN wrongly or unfairly, you can dispute it by making representations to us.

As circumstances differ from case to case, we cannot outline all the factors that we take into account when we consider exercising our discretion. Therefore this document cannot cover every situation that may arise or every situation in which we may exercise our discretion to cancel a PCN. However, set out below (for illustrative purposes only) are a few examples of certain situations in which we may or may not exercise our discretion to cancel a PCN.

The following examples are not intended to cover all situations. Each case will be judged on its own merits by a fully trained PA.

Type of situation

Grounds on which we may accept representations: 

  • Motorist provides satisfactory proof of a medical condition that is consistent with the conditions described and had no reasonable alternative but to park in a contravention. 

Grounds on which we may reject representations:

  • If the motorist cannot provide satisfactory proof of a medical condition consistent with the conditions described 
  • If the motorist had a reasonable alternative to parking in a contravention 
  • Where other evidence contradicts the motorist’s representations

Grounds on which we may accept representations

  • Only in the most urgent and exceptional circumstances and where evidence of the above is supplied

Grounds on which we may reject representations:

  • In all other circumstances

Grounds on which we may accept representations

  • If supported by appropriate evidence, the motorist’s representation states that the delay in returning to the vehicle was caused by circumstances that were entirely unforeseen, unavoidable and beyond their control 
  • If the motorist can provide a hospital letter confirming that an appointment overran

Grounds on which we may reject representations: 

  • If the delay described by the motorist was entirely avoidable 
  • If the motorist underestimated the time needed and could have reasonably purchased more time, for example when conducting business, shopping or commuting 
  • If the motorist could reasonably have been expected to park legally elsewhere

Grounds on which we may accept representations: 

  • Where a minor error has occurred on a scratch card type permit.

Grounds on which we may reject representations: 

  • If the motorist has a history of misusing electronic type permits

Grounds on which we may accept representations: 

  • If the renewal of the permit was delayed by the Council without good reason 
  • If it can be established that other reasonably unforeseen circumstances delayed the renewal of a permit to park, for example a postal dispute/delays (supported by appropriate evidence)

Grounds on which we may reject representations: 

  • If a driver/owner did not renew their permit on time 
  • If the permit was not applicable to the vehicle involved or displayed in accordance with the regulations


Please note that this document will be subject to ongoing review and maybe revised.

Get in touch about parking

The quickest way to contact us is by using our online forms which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need to speak to us give us a call during office hours and talk to our Customer Services team who will be happy to help.

Parking service changes

From 1 April 2023, Runnymede Borough Council will no longer be responsible for on-street parking enforcement including administration of resident on-street permits or visitor permits.

Parking service changes
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