(page revised 1 July 2019)
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MERSEY GATEWAY PENALTIES - STAGE 1 - MAKE A REPRESENTATION TO MERSEYFLOW
This page describes the first part of the process which is when you receive a PCN (Penalty Charge Notice) from Merseyflow.
Jump to - How to do it using the online system
PCN - front side
PCN - back side
We believe that the tolls and enforcement action are unlawful in numerous ways. But the politicians, authorities, firms, courts and police do not care, so you have to respond as if what they are doing is lawful.
If you intend to pay the toll then we suggest that you do so even if it is past the deadline. If it is only slightly late, this may mean that you do not get a Penalty Charge Notice. Even if you still get a PCN, it may increase the chances of it being cancelled.
It seems to be best if you make the payment by phone rather than by some other means- the phone number is 01928 878 878 (though only available 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-6pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays).
There is no time limit for the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice, but they are usually issued about ten days after the date of the alleged unpaid crossing. The issue date is on the top of the PCN. You have 28 days to EITHER pay the penalty charge and any unpaid toll (there may be no unpaid toll as the PCN may have been issued because they say that you paid the toll late) OR to make a 'representation' to Merseyflow.
The penalty charge is £40. To encourage you not to make a challenge, the penalty is reduced to £20 if you pay within 14 days.
Note that both the 14 days and the 28 days run from the date of service of the PCN, which is deemed to be two working days after the date of issue, unless you can prove that you received it later - this might be relevant if you were away from home for any reason.
If you are going to make a representation then we strongly recommend that you do it as soon as you can after you receive the Penalty Charge Notice. This is because the clock is 'stopped' while Merseyflow consider your representation. So even if they tell you that your representation has been rejected, you will still be able to pay the penalty at the reduced £20 rate if you act promptly- though in any case we suggest that if the representation is rejected you should appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
Though there is the 28 days limit after the Penalty Charge Notice has been 'served', we suggest that rather than do nothing after the 28 days, you either pay or make a representation as Merseyflow may accept it.
There are two ways of making a 'representation'. You can either do it in 'writing' or use the online system.
How to do it in "writing"
Do this by either writing or printing a letter or by filling in the tear off 'Representation slip' on the back of the PCN. This could either be delivered by hand to the Merseyflow office or posted. You may wish to do this by registered post, but the only essential thing is that you keep a careful note (such as on the PCN) of the date that you did posted or delivered this.
You could also 'write' to them by putting it in an email to - firstname.lastname@example.org .
However you do this and whatever other grounds you may have for challenging the PCN, make sure to include "G - Procedural impropriety".
How to do it using the online system
The rest of this guide is based on making the representation online. Note that if you are
making a representation on more than one ground, then there is no facility for doing
this online, but we suggest below how you can get round this.
With your PCN handy go to this Merseyflow web page. Then click on 'next'.
The 'What you will need' screen, refers to 'supporting evidence'. If you are
appealing on the grounds of 'procedural impropriety' then you do not need any at
this stage. Click on 'Next'.
On next page, 'Penalty Charge Notice', enter the PCN number and the vehicle
registration number (on your PCN). Then click on 'Next'.
(You used to be shown a list of all outstanding PCNs and you could then select all of them for the representation, but around the start of June 2019, Merseyflow changed the system so you have to through this process separately for each PCN).
On next page, 'Your details', enter Your name and other personal details. All the
fields are mandatory, if you don't have an email address then use a friend's. You
can use the same number in both the phone fields. Then click on 'Next'.
On next page, 'Grounds', click next to the Grounds for your representation.
We believe that the tolls and penalties do not properly comply with the law and are not enforceable. We therefore suggest that you use the procedural impropriety ground whatever other grounds you may have.
You then need to click on the bottom box which says 'The option I have selected...'. Then click on 'Next'.
On next page, 'Supporting evidence', you can upload a file - if you have one, and
you can make a 'supporting evidence statement'.
You do not have to, but you can upload our evidence docs
Or instead of uploading you can just copy and paste the link to our evidence docs - http://www.notolls.org.uk/smtpcnevidence.htm .
If you are using the 'Procedural impropriety' ground then we suggest that you type
in "There is no toll or penalty payable. The Tolling, the Charging Orders and the PCNs do not comply with the law. There have been various procedural improprieties on the part of the nominal Charging Authority. The whole system does not comply with the fundamental principles of English law. This is detailed in the various evidence documents prepared by Scrap Mersey Tolls. We also cite the 11th March 2019 decision of the adjudicator on the appeal of Damian Curzon"
Or if you want a shorter version, just type: "There is no toll or penalty payable. The Tolling, the Charging Orders and the PCNs do not comply with the law."
If you have some other reasons or grounds why you think that the penalty is wrong, then we suggest that you add that in the same box. Then click on 'Next'.
On next page, 'Verification', check what you have entered. You also need to click
again on 'The option I have selected...'. Then click on 'Next'.
The next page is a 'Confirmation' page. They do not send email acknowledgements or even provide a reference number. The page does not show a reference number, but you may wish to save a screen-shot of this page. The essential thing is that you keep a careful note (such as on the PCN) of the date that you submitted the representation.
What happens next?
Merseyflow must respond to your representation within 56 days (that's eight weeks) of when you make it. They will do one of three things-
They may tell you that they are cancelling the PCN. There is no penalty to pay, and no toll unless you have already paid it.
They may make you an offer to forget about the penalty providing you pay the toll. At one stage they were doing that in most cases, but this is now the exception. We suggest that you do not accept any offer, but realise that most people will pay to avoid further risk and trouble.
They will most probably send you a 'Notice of Rejection', (which often also included an offer to forget about the penalty providing you pay the toll, but this is now unusual).
Our advice is to appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal STAGE TWO - Making An Appeal Online To Traffic Penalty Tribunal if you have NOT been given the £2 offer.
IF you are given the £2 offer then you may want to accept it to avoid risk. You could hedge your bets if you have more than one PCN, by accepting the offer for most of the PCNs but appealing one to the Tribunal.
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