Glossary

Additional Parking Charges

Penalty charges, charges made by London authorities for the removal, storage and disposal of vehicles and charges in respect of the release of vehicles from immobilisation devices fixed under Schedule 9, Part I of the Traffic Management Act 2004.


Adjudication

The legally binding process of deciding an appeal relating to a penalty charge by an independent Adjudicator. The decision of an Adjudicator is final and binding on both parties to an appeal.


Adjudicator

An independent, legally qualified lawyer who judges the evidence and makes a final decision on the appeal.


Appeal

The legal process of challenging a decision by a local authority to reject a motorist’s formal representation against the issue of the Penalty Charge.


Appellant

A person who makes an appeal against a decision by a local authority to reject representations made following the service of a Penalty Charge Notice.


Bailiff (or certified bailiff)

A bailiff authorised by the County Court to recover civil traffic debts.


Charge Certificate

A notice issued to motorists who have not paid a penalty charge within the statutory time limits. A Charge Certificate increases the full penalty charge by 50%. If the penalty is not then paid within 14 days, the local authority may enforce payment as a debt in the County Court.


Civil Enforcement Area (CEA)

An area approved by the Secretary of State for Transport within which the enforcement of most parking controls has been decriminalised and where enforcement may therefore be undertaken by the enforcement authority. The whole of Greater London is one such area.


Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO)

A designation given by the Traffic Management Act 2004 to those officers engaged by councils to issue Penalty Charge Notices. CEOs may be employed directly by the council or through a specialist contractor.


Contravention

A failure by a motorist to comply with traffic or parking controls.


Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ)

A zone for which the parking restrictions are shown by signs placed on all vehicular entry points to the zone. Within the zone, signs are only required where the restrictions are different from those on the entry signs. There will usually be no sign for a yellow line where the restrictions are the same as on the entry signs.


Costs

A Parking and Traffic Adjudicator has only limited powers to award costs against either party to an appeal. The grounds for doing so are few and such awards are extremely rare. Costs may be awarded if in the opinion of the Adjudicator either party has behaved frivolously, vexatiously or wholly unreasonably.


County Court

The civil court where a debt is registered following an unpaid charge certificate. This is also the Court where a Statutory Declaration may be filed.


Debt registration

The process of recording a parking debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre at the County Court, no fewer than fourteen days after the service of a Charge Certificate and where the penalty charge due has not been paid.


Declarant

A person who swears a Statutory Declaration Discount Rate A reduction in the penalty charge (50%) if paid within 17 days of the date of issue of the Penalty Charge Notice.


Decriminalisation

Schedule 8 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, permits the creation of Civil Enforcement Areas in which Enforcement Authorities rather than the police enforce contraventions of parking and sometimes other traffic controls. Such contraventions are not criminal offences, but are enforced through civil procedures. Thus they are said to have been “decriminalised”.


Designated parking bays

Bays designated by means of a Traffic Management Order for specified types of parking, e.g. free parking, meter parking, resident permit or disabled badge holder parking. These are usually denoted by white boxes on the carriageway.


Discount rate

Term often used to describe the reduced penalty.


Discretionary

Each local authority [council] is given a pot of money each year to help people who qualify. The council decides who should be given the payments. When the money for the year runs out, no more payments can be made.


Dispensation

An agreement to allow a vehicle to park in a restricted area, without penalty, for an agreed duration and without the need to pay any initial parking charge. Dispensations are issued by or on behalf of the authority and an administrative charge may be made for this service. Dispensations are typically granted in limited circumstances where alternative provision cannot be made, for example to enable works to take place at adjacent premises or for essential deliveries which will take longer than the maximum time permitted.


DVLA

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, responsible for maintaining registers of drivers and vehicles and collecting vehicle excise duty (road tax).


Enforcement Authority

In London, the 33 London boroughs and Transport for London, collectively known as the Enforcement Authorities.


Exemptions

Various restrictions have exemptions, for example loading, unloading and the picking up and setting down of passengers and their luggage. Certain classes of vehicle may be granted exemption from traffic restrictions and parking controls, some by statute, for example statutory undertakers when on operational duties and others as detailed in a local authority’s Traffic Management Orders, for example Post Office vehicles and removal lorries.


Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)

Notices issued by police officers and police traffic wardens to motorists committing parking offences governed by criminal law.


Grounds

The relevant legislation details the legal grounds on which representations against liability for a penalty may be made. These are the same grounds on which an Adjudicator may consider an appeal against an authority ’s rejection of these initial representations.


Hand held computer (HHC)

A small, hand held computer that can be used to register parking contraventions and to print the subsequent Penalty Charge Notice. The HHC may contain an integral printer and also digital camera and even sound recording capabilities.


Hand held ticketing terminal (HHTT)

Another name for a hand held computer.


Hire vehicles

If a vehicle is hired under an agreement which conforms to The Road Traffic (Owner Liability) Regulations 2000 for less than six months and the hirer has signed a statement of liability for penalty charges, liability for any penalty charge may be transferred from the hire company, as the owner of the vehicle, to the hirer of the vehicle. This does not apply to bus lane contraventions in London.


Initial charge

The basic charge set for parking in a designated parking bay, for specified users at specified times. Individual councils have responsibility for setting their own initial charges.


Jurisdiction

The power of the Court/Tribunal or Judge/Adjudicator to consider a case.


Loading bay

A specific bay, bounded by white markings and signed to permit loading and unloading by goods vehicles. Parking is not permitted within these bays.


Loading gap

An area of yellow line between two bays. As with other yellow lines, waiting is restricted but the normal loading and unloading exemption applies.


London Tribunals

The name given to the administrative support provided for the London Adjudicators.


National Parking Appeals Service (NPAS)

The adjudication service for parking and traffic appeals outside London.


Notice of Acceptance

A Notice issued by Transport for London to a motorist upon the Authority accepting a formal representation against the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice.


Notice of Appeal (NoA)

The legal form which begins the appeal process and which explains to the independent Adjudicator and Transport for London why the motorist challenges the Authority’s Notice of Rejection.


Notice of Rejection (NoR)

A Notice issued by Transport for London to a motorist upon the Authority rejecting a formal representation against the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice.


Notice to Owner (NTO)

A statutory notice to be served by an Enforcement Authority on the person believed by them to be the owner of a vehicle issued with a Penalty Charge Notice at the scene for a parking contravention where the penalty remains unpaid after 28 days. The Notice to Owner requires the owner within 28 days to either make payment of the full penalty charge, or make representations against liability for the charge.


Offence

Term used to describe a breach of the criminal law. In decriminalised enforcement the term “contravention” and not “offence” should be used.


Order for recovery

County Court order for recovery of an unpaid penalty charge which has been registered as a debt at the Traffic Enforcement Centre.


Owner liability

The owner is generally liable for penalty charges, whoever was driving.


Parking and Traffic Adjudicator

This is a judicial office holder, appointed under S81 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. They must be barristers or solicitors of at least five years standing. In London they decide appeals against Penalty Charge Notices issued by Enforcement Authorities for alleged contraventions of parking, bus lane, moving traffic and lorry ban controls.


Parking bay

Sometimes used as an alternative for 'parking space'.


Parking place

An area of highway designated within a Traffic Management Order as a place where vehicles may be parked. Sometimes used as an alternative for 'Designated parking bay'.


Parking space

A space for one vehicle within a designated parking bay.


Penalty Charge Notice

A legal notice issued by Transport for London following a congestion charging contravention. A Penalty Charge Notice must contain certain information, including a description of which contravention is alleged to have occurred.


Penalty Charge Notice - Parking and Traffic

A legal notice issued by one of the enforcement authorities following a Parking or Traffic contravention. A Penalty Charge Notice must contain certain information, including a description of which contravention is alleged to have occurred.


Personal Hearing

An opportunity for a motorist who has appealed to an independent Adjudicator to explain their case and present evidence in person before the Adjudicator.


Pocket book

A notebook used by Civil Enforcement Officers to record information while on duty, including information about contraventions, to support Penalty Charge Notices issued during the course of their enforcement activities.


Postal Decision

The written decision given by the independent Adjudicator following an appeal hearing where the parties did not attend to present the case in person.


Pound

A secure place to which a removed vehicle is taken for storage until it is retrieved by the owner upon payment of the additional parking charges.


Priority routes (red routes)

A network of major roads within London, specified by the Secretary of State as key roads where traffic flow is to be maintained.


Reduced Penalty

A reduction of 50% in the penalty charge if it is paid so that it is received by the Enforcement Authority within 14 days of the date of the Penalty Charge Notice. If you write within 14 days to informally challenge a Penalty Charge Notice, some authorities will extend the 14 days for paying the reduced penalty whilst considering your letter. But you should check with them whether they will do this as not all authorities do.


Registered Keeper

The person or organisation recorded by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency as being the legal keeper of a motor vehicle. Under the concept of “owner liability”, the registered keeper is presumed to be the owner of the vehicle for the purposes of enforcement. This presumption may be rebutted by the registered keeper.


Respondent

The person or body (i.e. Transport for London) who responds to an appeal.


Restricted street

A street, or part of a street, in which parking is controlled for either all of the time, marked by a double yellow line (DYL); or for part of the time, marked by a single yellow line. The times of restriction are normally shown on yellow plates adjacent to the yellow line. However, a plate is not now required for a DYL; and plates are not required in a Controlled Parking Zone where the times of restriction are the same as shown on the zone entry plates.


Review

The process by which a party to an appeal can challenge the decision of an independent Adjudicator. Either party to an appeal can apply for a review of an Adjudicator’s decision. However, the grounds on which such an application may be made are limited. The application must be made within 14 days after the decision was sent to the parties.


Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (RTRA 1984)

The Act of Parliament which provided many of the powers for councils to impose traffic controls in their area, which have now been incorporated in the decriminalised regime brought in by the Traffic Management Act 2004.


Road User Charging Adjudicators Tribunal

The adjudication service for Congestion Charge appeals in London


Social Fund

Help for people on a low income, intended for emergencies such as funerals, the cost of a new baby, a crisis, a one-off purchase of an essential item.


Statement of liability

Part of the agreement signed by the hirer of a vehicle accepting liability for Penalty Charge Notices issued to the vehicle during the hire period. See 'Hire agreement' above.


Statutory Declaration

A statement in response to an Order for Recovery made on one of the specified grounds. A valid Statutory Declaration cancels the Order for Recovery, the Charge Certificate and sometimes the Notice to Owner in parking contraventions. It does not cancel the Penalty Charge Notice. It is a criminal offence to knowingly and willfully make a false Statutory Declaration.


TRACE

The centralised inquiry line run by the London Councils in respect of vehicles removed by Enforcement Authorities under the Traffic Management Act 2004.


Traffic Enforcement Centre (TEC)

Part of the Northampton County Court which deals with the registering of debts following non-payment of Penalty Charges and the making of Orders cancelling the enforcement of Penalty Charges.


Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA 2004)

The Act of Parliament provides for the civil enforcement of parking and other traffic contraventions, enforceable by Enforcement Authorities where a Civil Enforcement Order is in force.


Traffic Management Order (TMO)

An order made by a local authority under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and which details the nature and extent of traffic and parking controls within the council’s area. It is a contravention of these controls that may give rise to the issuing of a Penalty Charge Notice. The same orders are known as Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) outside London.


Tribunal

A legal body made up of independent Adjudicators deciding appeals.


Universal Credit

A proposed single monthly benefit to replace most other benefits - and which is intended to provide a greater incentive to work by ensuring those who work more are rewarded more via their benefits.


Vehicle Excise Licence (VEL)

The “tax disc” of a vehicle which bears a unique serial number.


Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM)

The number plate of a vehicle.


Waiver

A temporary consent, granted by the council, to relax parking controls for a specified vehicle or motorist.


Warrant of Execution

Authority issued by the county court to enforce an unpaid debt, following registration at the TEC. Warrants must be in the possession of a certificated bailiff when attempts are made to recover the debt. (The procedure is different in Scotland).


Witness Statement

A statement in response to an Order for Recovery made on one of the specified grounds. A valid Witness Statement cancels the Order for Recovery, the Charge Certificate and sometimes the Notice to Owner in parking contraventions. It does not cancel the Penalty Charge Notice. It is a criminal offence to knowingly and wilfully make a false Witness Statement.