How to appeal - rights and grounds

When you receive the notice

 

Firstly, don’t pay anything when you receive your notice. If you pay, you are simply admitting liability. Once you pay, it is too late to make an appeal

You can manage anything to do with your appeal at:

Make your appeal within 14 days if possible.

  

If you make representations to the Council (the first stage of the appeal process) within 14 days and it is unsuccessful, you will have more time to pay at 50% of the cost. So, it’s worth a try.

If you make a representation within 28 days you are still in time.  You would not get the reduction of 50% of the cost if you eventually had to pay, but it is still definitely worth appealing. By this stage,you have nothing to lose.

If you have already made representations or appealed but haven't used the arguments set out on this site, you will have a chance to add them in later; definitely if you go to the Adjudication stage. So don't worry, it's not too late and you can keep adding to your defence.

Your chances of being successful at the first stage are limited. The Councils tend to stick to their guns at this stage, often only to back down later.

If Hounslow or Ealing  Council reject your appeal, you can appeal to the Independent Adjudicator where the process is much fairer. You just have to get through that stage in order to get to the independent Adjudicator. That is probably your best chance of success.

Making your appeal

  • You can download one of the templates that we have written for you according to your own circumstances.
       

  • Or write your own appeal using some of ideas on our website and in the templates provided

Check out some of the judgements made under Successful Appeals.

Please note: We are sorry but we can no longer give people personal advice. In exceptional hardship cases, we have a colleague who is happy to take on a few individual cases, and we can pass that on. This website is designed to provide a bit of guidance to people who wish to try and appeal themselves.

Using a template

On this page are some templates which you can adapt according to your particular circumstances. Always be aware that it is likely that Hounslow or Ealing will probably reject your representations as a matter of routine. You have to keep going.

In the end if you go to the Independent Adjudicator, he or she is more likely to give you a fair hearing. Now that adjudications are face to face again, it is possible that people may be getting a better chance at a good outcome than they did on the phone.

Slow responses?

One thing to be aware of is that the majority of successful appeals to the Adjudicator have been because Hounslow or Ealing have failed to respond to the process within 56 days. Technically they are not required to (that is a deadline for parking PCNS as opposed to Moving Traffic Violations) but Adjudicators are ruling in favour of Appellants if Authorities are being slow to respond. There are several cases like that leading to successful appeals.

Downloadable templates

Below are templates for Fishers Lane and Staveley Road. Please be aware that signs and conditions change, and you should use this as a guide only. Often, it is better to use your own photos and your own story.

The templates are in Microsoft Word DOCX format and include pictures where they reinforce the appeal.

NEW! Staveley Road

 

Staveley Road is a school street and there has recently been a huge increase in fines being imposed for people turning from the A316/Great Chertsey Road in to Staveley Road. People are very confused.

The warnings are felt to be insufficient, the signs defective, and there is simply too little time for people to read the signs, deal with the traffic speeds and conditions and make safe decisions.

We have created a lengthy template based on what people have provided to us, together with our own observations and judgements. Please adapt as you see fit. We have also provided four photographs which show signs which have been obscured by trees and vegetation, and signs which are too small. We recommend that you use these as guidance and take your own photos.

Finally, we have copied and put up a very recent judgement by an Adjudicator which found for the appellant. You can find this judgement on the Successful Appeals page. He accepted that the signs were confusing; however, the signs have changed since that case. As we spot more cases, we will put them up on the Successful Appeals page.

Please do only appeal if you believe you have a strong case!

Staveley Road
appeals template

Sign on Great Chertsey Rd from a distance - the car cannot see it on the approach

Sign on Great Chertsey Rd from a distance - the car cannot see it on the approach

Sign on Great Chertsey Rd with tree foliage covering the sign. The yellow sign is unreadable for a car going 40mph

On the corner going into Staveley Rd which says nothing about the restrictions. The restriction only starts after the school

On the corner going into Staveley Rd which says nothing about the restrictions. The restriction only starts after the school

Small sign Staveley Rd that doesn't spell out restrictions in any detail. At this point a car would have to make a U-turn.

Small sign Staveley Rd that doesn't spell out restrictions in any detail. At this point a car would have to make a U-turn.

Sign on Great Chertsey Rd with tree foliage covering the sign. The yellow sign is unreadable for a car going 40mph

 
Fishers Lane
 

APRIL 2022 update: Fishers Lane is also being enforced in both directions. If you go from the South (Chiswick High Road side) towards the North (Acton Green), Ealing-Hounslow has now installed a fixed camera and are likely to start issuing PCNs.

Below are some templates relating to Fishers Lane. All relate to fines being issues by Ealing Council for people going from the North to the South from various directions.

Turning right into Fishers Lane from South Parade (night time)

Turning right into Fishers Lane from South Parade (daytime)

Turning left into Fishers Lane from South Parade (night time)

Turning left into Fishers Lane from South Parade (daytime)

 

Hartington Road

We haven't provided a template for Hartington Road but please check out the successful appeals on Hartington and check out the signs. People are winning some appeals to the Adjudicator for two reasons:

1. Hounslow are not sending out the PCNs or replying in a timely manner — this is by far the majority of cases. If they don't reply within about 2 months, the Adjudicator will frequently allow appeals. There are several cases like this. Hounslow are just depending on people to pay; the more who appeal, the more they are bogged up by the paperwork.

2. It is felt that there is a similarity to Staveley Road — people are not given enough information quickly and clearly enough while they are driving. And if they have made a wrong turn, it is dangerous to turn around. An appeal given in April 2022 (#22201054656) provides a basis for that appeal. You can download this from the Successful Appeals page.

If signs have been obscured or you feel that you have a case for any other reason, please do have a go. Some Adjudicators are more sympathetic than others and they are not bound by each other's decisions. So you may win or you may lose.

Some people prefer to go for it, others prefer to pay 50% and get it off their desks!

How to use the templates

You must base your letter on the “contravention did not occur....” argument as per our templates. You cannot claim that “it’s not fair” — Hounslow doesn’t do ‘fair’. You should be able to copy and paste your appeal from what we have provided. If you want to add additional arguments, please be careful what you write.

 

For example, you cannot say:

 

“the satnav took me there” - that won’t work. If the satnav took you through a no entry sign, you wouldn’t have an excuse and it is the same here, or

 

“the signs are too small” – because they’re not, or

We think your best argument is on the poor visibility of the legal signs, the lack of legal signs warning of the restriction, and the confusing nature of legal road markings that actually guide you down TGT.

 

We can’t guarantee that the appeal is perfect or will succeed, but it is our best effort and hopefully it will save time and stress for you to have a go at saving £65 / £130. And it costs nothing to make an appeal against a PCN! It also buys you time; you can always pay at the same rate later.

 

If your appeal is rejected, don’t worry, as you are no worse off. You then have two choices – contact us and we can provide additional arguments for you to use in a formal appeal (which ultimately is judged by an independent adjudicator) – or you can still choose to put £65 into Hounslow’s coffers.

Other reasons to appeal

Some people make the decision to appeal on principle if they can afford the extra £65 even if they are likely to lose the appeal. 

 

Every appeal costs the Council money – they have to pay for the adjudication process and  bear the burden of extra administration.  When people pay quickly and upfront it is an easy win for the Council.   So even if you end up paying the full amount after the appeal it makes the process very burdensome for the Council to enforce what is in effect an unfair Penalty.   People have to make their own decisions on this. 

 

Provided people follow the process they will not have to pay more than the full amount of the charge.  With the current pandemic situation, you can appeal over the phone – much easier than attending a live hearing.

​Next Steps

Send your appeal to Hounslow or Ealing online via the link at the top of this page and remember, it has to be within 28 days of the date of their notice (or whatever it says on the PCN).

Don't worry if yours is rejected, just keep going! If the council write back to you rejecting your appeal, you have the right to go to the Independent Adjudicator, where we believe you have a good chance of success.

The Independent Adjudicator

If your appeal is rejected, it is time to go to the Adjudicator. Another form to be filled in but all you need to do is add the same arguments as before and add in a few more reasons if you like. We can help with this.

Make sure you put your appeal in within 28 days of the Notice of Rejection. And don’t pay – if you do, you lose the case automatically.

You will then be contacted and a time will be arranged for you to meet the Adjudicator on a one-to-one basis (currently by telephone).

 

The Adjudicator is a lawyer and will generally be independent and fair. You can have a friend on the call with you – we occasionally act as ‘your friend’!. Make sure you are equipped with all your arguments and your evidence, photographs to show that:
 

The PCN was wrongly issued
 

The signage was totally unclear

If you hear in the meantime of any successful challenges, please tell us and use those successful challenges in your arguments. 

If you do go to the Independent Adjudicator, please contact us and we will be happy to work with you in this process.

If you win

If you win, you will deprive Hounslow or Ealing Council of revenue it shouldn’t be getting and you will be able to save other people from being unfairly penalised as you will be setting a precedent. If we get enough tickets cancelled, they may have to let everybody off.

And finally

Please do share your stories with us, both successes and failures.  

Did the Adjudicator agree with you or didn’t they? We once lost an appeal and were highly indignant, but the Adjudicator wrote to the Council to let us off anyway!

We want to share all the information we can so that everybody can work together. If our suggested defences aren’t working but there are other defences that are, we want to know!