Most importantly, do not ignore a Penalty Charge Notice. At this stage you can either pay or challenge the Penalty Charge Notice.

You can pay a parking penalty using our online payment service button below.

Please allow 24 hours from when the Penalty Charge Notice was served before using this service to ensure the details are available on the system. 

For penalties commencing MA (South Somerset District Council) please be aware we are currently unable to take payment online or by phone. Payment can be made by cheque – Payable to Somerset Council.

Please send to:

Somerset Council
County Hall
The Crescent

Payment of a Penalty Charge Notice is considered as acceptance of the penalty. Further correspondence may not be considered.

Challenge or make a representation

You can challenge a Penalty Charge Notice in one of two ways
Informal challenge – if you have received a ticket on your vehicle
Formal representation – if you have received notification through the post

For penalties starting UQ from 1 April 2023 Somerset Council

Challenge or make a representation if your penalty starts ‘UQ’

Challenge or make a representation if your penalty starts ‘US’, ‘MN’, ‘UD’ or ‘MG’

Please note that once you make a challenge or representation, your case will be put on hold until you receive a decision letter.

Your case will not progress – will stay at the same value – while it is on hold.

We aim to respond within 10 working days. Due to current workload and staff absences, responses are taking longer. Please allow up to 28 days for a response.

The Somerset TraffWeb website has information about all the current parking restrictions on Somerset’s roads.

Don't ignore the Penalty Charge Notice

If you ignore the Penalty Charge Notice or any letters we send you, or if you do not follow the process laid out here, the debt will be registered at court and pursued. And this may result in the case being referred to an Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) which means the costs will increase.

For more information about the process, please visit the PATROL website.

How much is a Penalty Charge Notice?

In Somerset, there is a charge of £70 (which is reduced to £35 if you pay within 14 days) for more serious contraventions, for example parking on a yellow line.

A lesser charge of £50 (which is reduced to £25 if you pay within 14 days) applies to less serious parking contraventions, such as overstaying a time limit, or not paying for parking.

There is a charge of £70 (which is reduced to £35 if you pay within 21 days) for contravening bus lane regulations. Other charges may be added for late payment.

Paying a Penalty Charge Notice

You can pay a Penalty Charge Notice online on here. There is information about other ways you can pay printed on the Penalty Charge Notice.

If you have lost the Penalty Charge Notice contact us on 0300 123 2224.

If you pay within 14 days you can pay a discounted rate of 50 per cent of the full Penalty Charge Notice amount. If you pay after the 14 day discount period, you must pay the full amount of the Penalty Charge Notice.

What will happen when you pay the Penalty Charge Notice
Payment is seen as acceptance of the penalty. This means the case will be closed and further correspondence may not be considered.

If you can’t afford to pay your penalty in full
The law doesn’t require us to offer you a way of paying in instalments and we don’t have to offer or agree to an instalment plan.

But, we will consider each request on its merits. You must provide us with a full financial breakdown, including information about your income and expenditure for us to consider an assessment. Any proposal you make must be realistic and reasonable, so that the outstanding sum is paid as quickly as possible.

Sometimes we will consider passing the outstanding debt to our Enforcement Agents (Bailiffs) who can consider an instalment arrangement. But, it is important for you to know that this will increase the overall amount you owe us.

How to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice

Stage 1 – Informal Challenge
There is a statutory process that has to be followed when you challenge a Penalty Charge Notice.

There is guidance information about the process on the back of the Penalty Charge Notice.

If you have received a Bus Gate penalty charge notice, you cannot make an informal challenge as the registered keeper of the vehicle has been formally identified. Only the registered keeper can make a Formal Representation (see Stage 2)

You must make a challenge in writing, either by using the ‘Challenge or make a representation’ button under ‘Challenge or make a representation’ on this page or by post. Please state why you believe you should not pay the Penalty Charge Notice and include any information or evidence you feel is relevant.

Challenges to a Penalty Charge Notice can only be made in writing, either online or by post. When you make your challenge we will send you a written response within 10 working days. You cannot come to our offices to challenge or discuss your Penalty Charge Notice.

For more information, see our Challenges and Representations Guidance in the Downloads section of this page.

If we accept your challenge you will not be required to pay the Penalty Charge Notice.

If we reject your challenge and it was received within 14 days of the Penalty Charge Notice being served you will generally be given another 14 days to pay at the discounted amount.

If your challenge has been rejected and you don’t agree you can make a formal representation.

Stage 2 – Formal Representation
If your challenge is rejected, (or we don’t receive one from you) and the Penalty Charge Notice is still not paid, the registered keeper of the vehicle will receive a Notice to Owner. This will say that there is a further 28 days to pay the full amount of the Penalty Charge Notice or to make representations to us. The grounds for making a formal representation are stated on the Notice to Owner, and the representation must be made in writing by the registered keeper of the vehicle.

A web code is printed in the top right corner of the Notice to Owner or Bus Gate Penalty Charge Notice. If a web code has not been provided, the penalty is not at the formal representation stage. You need this code to submit a formal representation because we can only deal with the registered keeper of the vehicle from this stage, or someone they have authorised to act on their behalf.

Once you have submitted your representation we will carefully consider it and write to you within 56 days.

If we accept your representation you will not be required to pay the Penalty Charge Notice.

If we reject your representation we will send you a Notice of Rejection of Representation. You will then have the opportunity to either pay the Penalty Charge Notice or appeal to the Independent Adjudicator at the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Service. You can only appeal to the Independent Adjudicator after you have received the Notice of Rejection of Representation.

If you have already paid the Penalty Charge Notice and you have been sent a Notice to Owner, please write to us with the details and evidence of the payment.

Stage 3 – Appeal to the Independent Adjudicator
We will send you information about how to appeal on the formal Notice of Rejection of Representation. The adjudicator is impartial and their decision is binding on you and.

If you win the appeal you will not be required to pay the Penalty Charge Notice.

If you lose the appeal you must pay the outstanding amount of the Penalty Charge Notice within 28 days.

For full details of the process, please see the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website.

If you receive a Charge Certificate

If you still don’t pay the Penalty Charge Notice a Charge Certificate will be sent to the registered keeper. The Charge Certificate increases the amount outstanding by 50 per cent. We do not have to accept late challenges or representations. Details of how to make payment are shown on the certificate.

What you should do if you receive an Order for Recovery

If payment is not received we will send you an Order for Recovery. The Order for Recovery increases the amount outstanding by £8 to cover a Court Registration Fee. You can pay as described on the Order, or a Witness Statement or Statement of Truth can be filed at the County Court Business Centre.

You can file a Statement for one of the following reasons:

  • if you did not receive the Notice to Owner.
  • if you made representations about the penalty charge to us within 28 days of the service of the Notice to Owner, but did not receive a rejection notice.
  • if you appealed against our decision to reject you representation, within 28 days of service of the rejection notice, but have had no response to your appeal.
  • if the penalty charge has been paid in full.

Please be aware that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against you if you make or cause to be made a false statement in an application verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

If you have been contacted by the Enforcement Agents (Bailiffs) but want to challenge the penalty now, the case has progressed to the enforcement stage, so you must contact the Enforcement Agents directly. You may also want to contact the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or a solicitor for advice.

More information

Can I park for a few minutes on a single or double yellow line to drop off passengers or to load or unload?
In most cases yes, providing there are no signs or lines prohibiting it and you are not causing a hazard or an obstruction. The loading and unloading activity must be visible and continuous. You must not load or unload where it is prohibited. Please check the Highway Code to see which signs and lines apply.

Can I park for a few minutes while I get change to pay for parking?
No. You are expected to anticipate the need and carry change to pay for parking. In most areas you can pay for parking by telephone, check the signs for details.

What happens when I purchase a Phone and Pay session?
A Phone and Pay session acts in the same way as a Pay and Display ticket. Although a driver will have no physical ticket to display, the Civil Enforcement Officer can see which vehicles have a valid Phone and Pay session and when they expire, through their hand held computers. Phone and Pay sessions, like Pay and Display tickets, are only valid in the car park for which the session was purchased. The same grace periods apply to Phone and Pay sessions as Pay and Display sessions.

How much of a grace period do I get?
From 6 April 2015, a 10 minute grace period is given in dedicated parking bays, where a period of permitted parking ends and controls then come into force.

The 10 minute grace period applies in parking bays in the following instances:

  • at the start of controlled hours when the bay reverts from being uncontrolled to controlled
  • upon expiry of a paid for session during controlled hours
  • upon expiry of a permitted ‘free’ parking period during controlled hours (for example, a maximum stay)

The 10 minute grace period does not apply in the following instances:

  • anywhere outside of a parking bay, for example on yellow lines, loading bans, footway, when double-parked
  • where a vehicle is parked in a permitted parking bay during controlled hours without permission, without a permit or without having made payment (beyond the first 10 minutes of control)

Why did I get a Penalty Charge Notice when I left a note in the car advising I was loading or had broken down?
A note is not a valid permit to park and if you wish to challenge your Penalty Charge Notice you will need to send a copy of any evidence to support the reason your vehicle was parked in contravention of the restrictions such as the breakdown recovery receipt or delivery note.

How can a motorist be assured that their Penalty Charge Notice has been served fairly?
Civil Enforcement Officers are trained to follow procedures to ensure that Penalty Charge Notices are served fairly. In some cases this means observing for a period of time to ensure that an exemption (for example loading or unloading) does not apply. The software used in their handheld computer prevents a Penalty Charge Notice from being served until the required observation period is completed. A Civil Enforcement Officer is also required to gather relevant information (such as the vehicle registration mark and photographs) before a Penalty Charge Notice can be served. The motorist can view these details, including the photographs by using our Challenge or make a representation tab.

Can you send out a Civil Enforcement Officer to deal with inconsiderate parking?
A Civil Enforcement Officer can only serve a Penalty Charge Notice where a vehicle is in contravention of a parking restriction. You can report inconsiderate parking to Somerset Parking Services and it will be investigated as soon as possible. If a vehicle is causing a hazard or an obstruction that must be moved immediately please contact the police.

I no longer own this vehicle, why do you keep writing to me?
According to the DVLA you were the registered keeper on the date of the contravention. If you have sold the vehicle you must submit evidence to us, along with the name and address of the purchaser. You will also remain liable until the DVLA have been notified.

I wasn’t driving at the time, why do you keep writing to me?
The registered keeper is liable for any Penalty Charge Notices served to the vehicle irrespective of who was driving at the time the contravention occurred.

I sent in a challenge but did not receive a response.

  • If a challenge was sent in writing, but did not have a return address, a response would not be possible as we do not have any address details before the Notice to Owner stage when we apply to the DVLA for the registered keepers details.
  • If the response has been sent to the email address you supplied, it may have gone into your junk or spam folder, or an incorrect email address may have been supplied.
  • Occasionally items can get lost in the post, but these can be re-issued on request.
  • Similarly, a challenge through the post will occasionally be lost or a challenge sent to an incorrect email address will not be received.

What is a web code and why do I need it to make a representation?
A web code is automatically generated on either a Bus Lane Enforcement Penalty Charge Notice letter or a Notice to Owner. The code will enable you to make a formal Representation against your penalty. You will not receive a web code if you are at an earlier stage of the penalty process and would make a Challenge rather than a Representation.

I have had Enforcement Agents at my door for a notice I do not know anything about.
You can view the details of the penalty online (you will need the penalty number and the registration of the vehicle to do this). If this has reminded you of the parking contravention and subsequent correspondence, you must deal with the Enforcement Agents (bailiffs) or take independent legal advice.

If you do not recognise the parking contravention, contact us on 0300 123 2224.

I cannot afford to pay the Penalty Charge Notice(s) in one go, can I pay in instalments?
The Parking Partnership is under no obligation to accept payment plans.

For cases of extreme financial hardship any request for a payment plan will be considered on its merits. To enable the request to be considered please provide a full breakdown of income and expenditure along with a realistic proposal that can be met.

Do Civil Enforcement Officers have a target numbers of penalties to serve each day?
No, they are not rewarded for the number of penalties they serve.

How can a Civil Enforcement Officer issue me with a Penalty Charge Notice when I was carrying out a good deed or had an emergency?
Unless a Civil Enforcement Officer has directly observed an incident, they cannot know why a vehicle was parked in contravention and are not permitted to exercise discretion outside of our published guidelines.

Who is responsible for car parks?
Car parks are the responsibility of the body named on the signs. In Somerset, most car parks are owned and managed by us.

The same parking restrictions apply to motorcycles as any other domestic motor vehicle. Motorcycles must pay to park in on-street pay and display parking spaces. While there may be difficulties securing a physical pay and display ticket, there is the option of Phone and Pay, where no physical ticket is required. Similarly, in resident parking areas, we have moved to a virtual resident permit system where the vehicle registration mark is checked against permitted vehicles.

Motorcycles in car parks are subject to the policies of the relevant District council or private car park operators.

Last reviewed: March 8, 2024 by Qi

Next review due: September 8, 2024

Back to top