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Parking enforcement

The County Council is responsible for managing on-street parking in West Sussex, but the powers for on-street parking enforcement are delegated to the district and borough councils.

Money received through Penalty Charge Notices (parking tickets) is used to pay for the costs of enforcement, with any surplus money being ring-fenced to be spent on parking, transport and other environmental improvements.

What are the penalties?

The district and borough councils’ Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) - for most non-endorsable parking contraventions.

There are two levels of penalty charges depending on the severity of the contravention:

  • £70.00 (reduced to £35.00 if paid within 14 days)
  • £50.00 (reduced to £25.00 if paid within 14 days)

Late payment increases the penalty charge to £105.00 (higher band) and £75.00 (lower band). This may be more if the borough or district council has to pursue the debt through the use of bailiffs.

CEOs are not allowed to accept payment or withdraw a PCN once it has been issued. They do not have quotas or targets for issuing PCNs; their job is simply to encourage drivers to obey the parking control measures and issue a PCN if they believe that a contravention has taken place.

Will vehicles be removed?

We do not believe that there is a need to routinely remove vehicles contravening parking restrictions. However, if a vehicle is considered a traffic safety hazard that endangers other road users other authorities may do so.

On the highway, vehicles may be removed by authorities such as:

Appealing against a PCN

If you think you haven’t broken the rules, or that there was a valid reason for doing so, you are entitled to make a representation to the district or borough council that issued the PCN. In order to do this you must write to the issuing council detailing why you feel the PCN was incorrectly issued, or explaining any mitigating circumstances you would like to be considered.

All correspondence relating to a PCN must be directed to the district or borough council that issued it. Details of how to make an appeal are outlined on the reverse of the PCN and further details can be found from the Pay or challenge a parking ticket page.

Once the district or borough council receives your representation, it will acknowledge it in writing within a specified period and give you a full reply in writing.

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) ensures that unresolved legal disputes between motorists and councils can be heard at a formal tribunal hearing. This body is completely independent of councils. If you are not satisfied by the outcome of a representation you have made to a district or borough council you are entitled to make an appeal to TPT. For further details on making a formal appeal, visit Traffic Penalty Tribunal's website.

PATROL provides information about the enforcement of parking tickets, as well as parking and bus lane regulations.

The grounds for a formal appeal against a PCN are:

  • the alleged parking contravention did not occur;
  • the penalty charge (or release or storage charge) exceeded the relevant amount;
  • the Traffic Regulation Order was invalid;
  • you were not the owner of the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred;
  • when the vehicle was parked it had been taken without your consent, and;
  • you are a hire company and have supplied the hirer’s name and address.

In addition to the legal grounds for making formal appeals, the councils are obliged to consider all mitigating circumstances presented to them. Guidelines have been established to assist Parking Services’ staff in this process.

How can I get a vehicle back that was removed by the police?

Sussex Police may remove vehicles that are causing an obstruction to the highway. To arrange release of the vehicle, please contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999. If you have impaired hearing, a MINICOM help line is available on 01273 483435.

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