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Liverpool City Council (19 020 173)

Category : Transport and highways > Parking and other penalties

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 27 Mar 2020

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr B’s complaint about a Penalty Charge Notice. This is because it was reasonable for him to appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

The complaint

  1. Mr B is unhappy with the Council’s decision to issue him with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). Mr B says he has a valid parking permit but he had to park in a restricted zone because of construction work. Mr B says the charge is unfair and unreasonable.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. 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)
  2. The Traffic Penalty Tribunal considers parking and moving traffic offence appeals for all areas of England outside London.

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information from Mr B and the Council. I shared a copy of this decision with Mr B and invited his comments.

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What I found

  1. The Council issued a PCN to Mr B for parking on a double yellow line during restricted hours. The fine was £70. As the Council did not receive a response, it issued a Notice to Owner to Mr B.
  2. Mr B responded with formal representations and explained he had difficulty parking because of the construction work in the area.
  3. The Council responded and issued a Notice of Rejection to Mr B. The Council explained Mr B could pay the PCN at the discounted rate of £35 or he could submit an appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. Mr B chose to pay the PCN at the discounted rate.
  4. The Ombudsman is not an appeal body and we do not replace the statutory processes laid down by parliament. Mr B could have appealed to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal rather than paying the discounted rate. It is reasonable to expect him to have done this because the tribunal is the appropriate body to consider disputes about PCN’s.

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Final decision

  1. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr B’s complaint. This is because it was reasonable for him to appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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