You have the choice to either attend your hearing in person, or to have a postal hearing. For many, the experience of attending before the tribunal will be their first experience of any tribunal or court. Often, attending before the adjudicator may be the first time you have been able to meet someone face to face in connection with your appeal.
If you have chosen to have a personal hearing, the following advice may help you:
London Tribunals is committed to taking action to ensure that the way we work does not place people with disabilities at a disadvantage. If you have any concerns about your requirements during the appeals process, we may be able to make reasonable adjustments to mitigate those concerns. Please see our section on reasonable adjustments for more information: Reasonable adjustments.
If you need an interpreter you may bring a friend or relative to interpret for you;
Think about what you want to say to the adjudicator before you arrive for the appointment and write down any points you wish to make at the hearing this will help you to remember;
Arrive in good time. This will give you time to think about what you are going to say;
Remember to bring the letter advising you of your hearing date and time and any other documents you might need with you;
If it would make you feel more relaxed, bring a friend or family member with you for support;
Please remember that the adjudicators and their staff are independent and are not connected with Transport for London. You may be feeling angry, frustrated or upset at having received a Penalty Charge Notice, but you must remember that these are formal legal proceedings.
What happens at the hearing?
The adjudicator will explain the procedure before your hearing begins.
Transport for London will not normally attend the hearing but will have sent in their written evidence before the hearing. You should receive a copy of this evidence at least 3 days before the hearing.
The adjudicator will not have seen the documents in your case before your hearing and will ask you questions about your appeal in order to establish the facts. You may be asked to explain the evidence you have submitted.
The evidence both you and TfL have sent in will be available to the adjudicator on a computer and they will look at this evidence during your hearing.
Although the appeals proceedings are formal, the appeal hearing is not.
You will not be required to swear an oath but you will be expected to tell the truth.
Things to note about coming to the hearing centre
Bring your appointment letter and all of your paperwork with you.
The hearing rooms are open to the public. You may bring a friend or family member with you for support if you wish. Children may not be left unattended at the hearing centre.
Do not bring large bags or rucksacks to the hearing centre.
The hearing centre is wheelchair accessible. If you require a signer or interpreter, you may bring a relative or friend to assist you. Information on other reasonable adjustments that may be available to you can be found on our website here.
No dogs are permitted in the hearing centre except for guide dogs or assistance dogs.
You should arrive in good time and telephone the Tribunal if you are going to be late on 0207 520 7200. We aim to start your hearing within 15 minutes of the scheduled time however the length of hearings is unpredictable. Please be aware that if someone arriving after you is called into a hearing room before you it may be that they are attending a different type of appeal.
The Hearing Centre is located at Chancery Exchange, 10 Furnival Street, London EC4A 1AB. More detailed information on how to find us can be found on our website at: www.londontribunals.gov.uk/about/contact-us-getting-hearing-centre.
Please note that if you see someone apparently 'jumping the queue' and going into a hearing room before you, even though you arrived before them, it may be that they are here for a different type of appeal. Congestion Charging and Low Emission Zone appeals are heard by different adjudicators to those who hear parking, bus lane, lorry ban and moving traffic appeals.
If you would like any further information about the appeals procedure you may contact us. View contact details.
Your appeal will be decided by an adjudicator, who is a qualified lawyer;
The adjudicator is independent of Transport for London;
Usually, Transport for London will not attend the hearing;
The hearing is kept as informal as possible. Please remember that it is a judicial hearing like a court, not a meeting. The adjudicator is similar to a judge;
The adjudicator will introduce the hearing and explain the procedure;
Tell the adjudicator if you have any special needs or if you have difficulties in understanding the proceedings for any reason;
Be courteous and polite to the tribunal staff. Please understand that people who behave in a disruptive manner may be asked to leave the hearing centre;
You will not be asked to take an oath when giving evidence, but you must tell the truth. If you do not, you could be prosecuted;
All the documents relating to your appeal will usually have been scanned into our computer system for viewing during the hearing;
The adjudicator will not normally have looked at the case or seen any of the documents before the hearing;
If you have brought any witnesses with you, they may be asked to wait in the reception area until the adjudicator calls them in;
The hearing will be tape recorded for record purposes. You may not tape record, film, video or photograph the hearing;
Once the adjudicator has considered the evidence and your representations, they will usually then tell you the result of the appeal and prepare the written decision. The decision will then be sent to you.
Occasionally, at the end of the hearing the adjudicator may tell you that they need time to consider the decision. The decision will then be sent once the adjudicator has made it;
Once made, the adjudicator’s decision is binding on you and the authority;
Sometimes the adjudicator may decide to adjourn the case to be concluded on another day e.g. for more evidence to be provided. The date of the next hearing will be sent to you and you will be told whether you are required to come to the hearing centre again on the next occasion.
If you are unable to attend your hearing
If you choose a postal decision, you will be sent a letter which explains the date after which your appeal will be decided, and a date by which time you should submit any further evidence;
Please note that the date issued to you for a postal appeal is the date that the appeal will be placed before an adjudicator for consideration. Depending on the number of appeals awaiting consideration, it may be that your appeal will not be considered on that date, but as soon as possible after. However, as soon as a decision has been made it will be sent to you via the post and will appear immediately on the Register of appeals.
For a postal decision, neither you nor the local authority will be present or represented. The adjudicator will consider all the documentary evidence produced by both parties (you, the appellant and the local authority, the respondent) and will then make a decision based on the evidence before them;
If, when considering the evidence, the adjudicator needs either party to provide further details before making a decision, they can adjourn the appeal to a later date;
The adjudicator will then post the decision to you.
What evidence do I need?
Evidence can include written documents such as a receipt for the sale of your vehicle, witness statements or spoken evidence.
Evidence which might be relevant to your case will depend upon the facts but may include:
Letter from DVLA regarding ownership
Bank/credit card statement as evidence that a charge was paid to Transport for London
Telephone statement as evidence that you contacted the Transport for London call centre
Receipt as evidence that you purchased a Congestion Charge for the correct date and the correct vehicle
Evidence might also include a signed and dated written statement from someone who was a witness.
You should send your evidence to the adjudicator before your hearing and keep copies of any evidence you send.
If you wish to submit in evidence photographs in electronic format or moving images, please do so on CD or DVD. Please note that we will retain it as we require a complete record of the evidence.
In view of the significant security issues associated with their use, we cannot accept evidence on a USB flash drive.
Please also note that, if you present evidence at a hearing that we cannot retain, such as on a mobile telephone, laptop or camcorder, the adjudicator may need to adjourn the hearing for you to provide the evidence in a suitable form.
If you are intending to fax photographs or images to the tribunal the quality on receipt is likely to be poor. Please send clear copies to us by post and if you are attending a personal hearing, please bring the originals with you.
Please remember that neither the adjudicator nor their staff can contact witness or gather evidence on behalf of any party.
What if I do not have all the evidence I need at the moment?
Send in the Notice of Appeal as soon as you can. When you receive a date for your hearing you will be told the last date on which evidence can be submitted.
Remember, hearings can be rescheduled if necessary.
If I have a disability, what arrangements can be made for me?
Our hearing centre is fully wheelchair accessible.
If you are hearing impaired and would like a signer, you may bring a friend or relative to sign for you. If this is not possible, please contact the tribunal as soon as you can and we will try to arrange for an official signer on your behalf.
If you have any other requirements, please contact us
Can I bring a witness to the hearing?
Yes. As with any other court, hearings are public and in theory anyone may attend unless the adjudicator considers that they should be excluded .
Your witness can attend the hearing to give evidence to the adjudicator or they could make a signed, written statement if they are unable to attend the hearing in person.
You may also bring a friend or family member for support.
Do I need a lawyer?
No. The hearing is informal and the adjudicator will explain the procedures in full at the start.
If you feel that your case is particularly complex or you require assistance in preparing your case, you may wish to employ a solicitor to act on your behalf or you might be able to seek free legal advice from a Law Centre or Citizens Advice Bureaux. More information about solicitors and lawyers.
Please be aware that you might not be able to recover the costs you incur by employing a legal representative.
How long will the hearing take?
Most appeals are straightforward. Appeal hearings often take around 20 minutes, although some cases may take longer.
Will I find out the decision immediately?
In the majority of cases the adjudicator will be able to you give a decision on your appeal immediately and explain their reasons.
Please note that in some cases the adjudicator may decide to adjourn the case to be concluded on another day, if the adjudicator requires further evidence from you or from Transport for London.
You will be told when the next hearing will be and will be told whether you are required to come to the hearing centre again.
On rare occasions, the adjudicator may ‘reserve judgment’. This might happen for example where it is necessary to consider a large amount of written documentation or to research a technical legal point.
In every case, you will be given the adjudicator’s written reasons for allowing or refusing your appeal. These can be given to you within a few moments after the hearing while you wait, or sent to you by post, usually the next day.
What happens if I win?
If you win your appeal the adjudicator will tell you why you have won and will usually direct Transport for London to cancel the Penalty Charge Notice and refund any money you have already paid to Transport for London in relation to the Penalty Charge.
What happens if I lose?
The adjudicator will tell you why your appeal has been refused. You will usually remain liable for payment of the Penalty Charge and the adjudicator will tell you how much you have to pay to Transport for London and when you have to pay it.
Any penalty must be paid promptly within the time limits specified.
If you do not pay, the penalty amount may increase and Transport for London may be entitled by law to take enforcement action.
In some cases this may result in a debt being registered in the county court with bailiffs being instructed to recover the outstanding penalty amount in addition to their own fees.
Will the penalty charge increase if I lose my appeal?
If you lose your appeal you will be given another 28 days to pay the penalty due before any further increase.
The penalty due will normally be the full (not the reduced rate) penalty.
You will usually only be entitled to pay the reduced rate penalty if you paid the penalty within the discount period and submitted representations against the Penalty Charge Notice.
Otherwise, the standard penalty amount would usually be payable if you lost your appeal.
Will my driving licence be endorsed or will I have a criminal record?
No, a Congestion Charge penalty or a Low Emission Zone penalty is a civil penalty and does not give rise to criminal liability.
Can I claim costs, compensation or expenses?
What happens if I don’t agree with the adjudicator’s decision?
The adjudicator’s decision is final and there is no right of appeal. In certain limited circumstances a ‘review’ of the adjudicator’s decision can be asked for. A review is not an opportunity for you to appeal again.
If you wish to apply for review, you should write to the Head of Support Services at the address given on your decision letter within 14 days of the decision being sent to you or handed to you at the hearing centre.
An application can only be made on one of the following grounds:
- the decision was wrongly made because of an error by the tribunal's administrative staff;
- you failed to appear or be represented at a hearing for some good reason;
- there is new evidence and the existence of this could not have been known or foreseen before the decision;
- the interests of justice require a review.