London Borough of Lewisham (21 016 486)

Category : Transport and highways > COVID-19

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 08 Mar 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the issuing of a Penalty Charge Notice for a parking contravention. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. The complainant has a right of appeal.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, I shall call Mr X complains the Council is refusing to cancel a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) which he received for a parking contravention. He says he was following the Government’s self-isolation rules so he could not leave his home to move his car.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone can appeal to a tribunal. However, we may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to appeal. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(a), as amended)
  3. London Tribunals (previously known as the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service) considers parking and moving traffic offence appeals for London.

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Mr X and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because there is a set procedure to follow for challenging PCNs. The Council confirmed it sent Mr X the ‘notice to owner’. This gives him the opportunity to either pay the charge or make formal representations against the PCN. If the council rejects his formal representations, he may appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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