Parking policies and Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) information

Find out more about about Penalty Charge Notices, parking policies, rules and exemptions.

Abandoned vehicles

Find out about reporting abandoned vehicles, trailers and caravans.

Vandalised vehicles

If a vehicle has been vandalised or damaged while parked, police confirmation of the incident or proof of breakdown is required in order to cancel the PCN.             

Vehicles left unattended to gain access

When a motorist has left their vehicle to collect a key to gain access to a premises, the time taken should not be excessive and the vehicle should not be left where there is a total prohibition on waiting.              

This is usually an exemption, but each case is treated on its own merits.             

Appointments and hospital visits

Dental and doctors appointments

Exemptions do not apply for overrunning appointments. An exemption may apply if the person is referred for immediate treatment when in the hospital, with suitable evidence. 

Hospital visits

In cases where the motorist is claiming an emergency visit to a hospital, the PCN will be cancelled if enough evidence is provided and the emergency is seen to be genuine.

Where there is a pre-arranged appointment and the motorist was delayed in returning to the vehicle, the PCN will be upheld, unless the emergency developed during the appointment, in which case further evidence will be requested.             

Where a person has been to visit a doctor or a hospital and is detained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act, the PCN will be cancelled after confirmation is received from the GP or doctor concerned.             


If a person has been arrested and is unable to return to their vehicle, an exemption will apply and the PCN should be cancelled after confirmation is received. 

The following must be documented: 

  • time and date of arrest
  • police station
  • custody number
  • arresting officer

Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs

If the motorist of the vehicle has been arrested by the police and the vehicle has been left in contravention of the regulations, the PCN should not be enforced unless the motorist had ample time (at least 12 hours after being released from custody) to remove the vehicle. 

Court attendance and delays

Requests for cancellation of a PCN from police officers, solicitors, barristers, court witnesses or members of the public who are delayed because a court hearing was delayed or took longer than expected are not allowed.

Broken down vehicles

In general, claims of a vehicle breakdown are accepted if they appear to be unavoidable and supporting evidence is provided, such as:

  • a garage receipt, on headed paper, properly documented
  • a till receipt for purchase of seemingly relevant spare parts purchased on or about the date of the contravention
  • a confirmation letter from the AA, RAC or other motoring organisation
  • the CEO has noted in the pocket or on the hand held computer that the vehicle had obviously broken down

Removal of vehicle by a garage or break-down service

The motorist is expected to arrange for the broken down vehicle to be removed within 24 hours. If the vehicle cannot be removed within this time, we expect to see some evidence that the motorist has contacted the breakdown service or garage.             

Flat battery

A receipt for the purchase of a new battery or for parts, which could cause a flat battery, is required. If there is no supporting evidence, the PCN is upheld.

Consideration is also given as to how the vehicle came to be illegally parked before it failed to restart.             

Flat tyre

The PCN is upheld unless there is a good reason why the motorist could not change the tyre, for example the motorist is elderly or disabled, or where the breakdown services were called because of mechanical difficulty.             


Where the vehicle overheated due to lack of water, the PCN should be upheld unless there is evidence of a mechanical failure, for example a broken fan belt, faulty radiator or hose. 

Running out of petrol

Unless the motorist provides evidence that the vehicle ran out of fuel due to an electrical or mechanical fault, the PCN should be upheld.

Bus lane and bus gate enforcement

Bus lanes and bus gates are enforced using camera technology which captures the registration number of vehicles that are not authorised to use the bus lane or bus gate and a PCN is issued by post to the registered keeper/owner of the offending vehicle. 

Signs are displayed and road markings show the lane or road is for buses only and that cameras are in operation.

Solo motorcycles are only allowed to use the A65 bus lanes. This includes scooters, motorcycles and mopeds of 50cc or less. No other bus lanes in Leeds are exempt for solo motorcycles.

Bus stops

PCNs issued to vehicles (other than buses) waiting in a restricted bus stop are upheld because vehicles are not usually allowed to park at bus stops for any reason – including loading and unloading, however, there may be an exemption for certain vehicles.

City Car Club

The vehicles connected with this scheme (originally a partnership between the council, City Car Club and Metro) are able to park in specially designated parking bays located throughout the city, which are covered by a TRO.

It is illegal for any other vehicles to park in these bays. There are times when other vehicles choose to park in the car club bays preventing the car club vehicle from parking.

In such situations, it has been agreed that the car club vehicle can be parked in the nearest available pay & display bay or other authorised area until it can be reparked in the car club bay. The car club vehicle should display the appropriate liveried sticker so CEOs can identify it is part of the car club scheme. The car club should notify Parking services of the situation regarding the illegally parked vehicle and they should ensure that the vehicle is issued with a PCN.

Any deviations from the agreement on the part of the car club vehicle could result in the issue of a PCN which will be payable.


The Traffic Management Act 2004 allows the council in certain circumstances to clamp and/or remove vehicles.

We may clamp and/or remove your vehicle if it is not registered with DVLA and there are outstanding penalty charges associated with the vehicle. 

Controlled parking zone

A Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) denotes an area where every square inch of on-street parking is controlled by way of parking places. Parking is permitted under certain conditions, eg permit holder only bays, shared use parking bays and pay & display bays. A CPZ will also have yellow lines, which means that vehicles are subject to waiting and loading restrictions.

Double yellow line restrictions apply 24 hours a day.

In Leeds there is a CPZ for the city centre area.

Delivery and collection, loading and unloading of goods

The vehicle involved in loading and unloading does not have to be a goods vehicle, but it must be necessary for the activity and not just convenient.

TROs allow a maximum of up to 20 minutes for loading/delivering in a permitted parking bay or on yellow lines, but a motorist is not entitled to park for the full time, only for as long as necessary.

Where a motorist exceeds the maximum period, the council is entitled to pursue the PCN, although it is kept in mind that the loading provisions are designed to assist commercial activity and it may be reasonable to exercise discretion if it is clearly proven that loading was taking place throughout the entire period taken.

Generally, all cases are treated on their merits.

It is recommended that all motorists consider the following:

  • loading should be continuous
  • there is no requirement for the vehicle to be attended, unless it is a case of footway parking, where the TRO specifies that a commercial vehicle must be attended
  • there is no automatic right to park for 20 minutes
  • the vehicle does not have to be parked adjacent to the premises
  • deliveries of small items are covered, such as wages
  • delivering and collecting includes the checking of goods, completion of paperwork and may include payment
  • some shopping may be considered as goods
  • weigh up the difference between convenience and necessity

Banks and building societies

Normal loading/unloading, delivery and collection rules apply. 

Only security vehicles can claim a loading/unloading exemption when carrying cash and other valuables. There is no exemption for other vehicles visiting the bank. 

If the delivery or collection involves large amounts of coinage, a PCN may be cancelled with suitable proof being received, as the activity will fall into the normal delivery or loading provisions regarding heavy items, which could not normally be carried.


Shopping may be classed as goods. The exemption does not cover the time needed for the shopping itself, but it would apply while the goods are being put into a car. If they are heavy or bulky, the loading exemption will apply, but even if they are not, the collection exemption may apply – providing this warranted the use of the vehicle.             


There is no general exception for bailiffs’ vehicles. If this is claimed, they may be able to claim an exemption for loading. The following information will be needed:              

  • warrant number
  • list of goods

Trade deliveries

Deliveries of small items is permitted, but it should be considered that the smaller and lighter the goods, the shorter the time needed to deliver. There may be a greater evidential burden on the motorist to prove that he took no longer than was necessary if there was a lengthy absence from the vehicle.

Paperwork and other delays

The delivery process applies to the completion of paperwork, which is reasonably required, such as delivery note, obtaining a signature.

There may also be some other form of delay, for example papers not ready, people cannot be found, and goods need to be located. The motorist should be covered for unexpected delays and allowed a reasonable time while goods are being located, but this is not an automatic exemption covering however long it takes.             

Parking while investigating whether or not there are goods to be collected is not covered, unless the motorist can reasonably expect that there are goods there but then finds out that there are none, for example, a prior appointment or a regular round, rather than canvassing. 

The burden and standard of proof

This falls on the motorist. The shorter the observation period, the easier it will be for the motorist to establish that the exemption applies.             

Any lack of observable activity by the CEO does not imply that activity was not taking place and there is no authority for saying that it must be continuous. In Leeds a 5-minute observation period is applied.             

If the motorist is delivering goods to the 20th floor for example, it is likely that there may be a period in excess of 5-10 minutes where no activity is observed by a CEO. It is important to understand that this does not mean that no loading or unloading was taking place. Again, the circumstances have to be taken into account.              

There is no requirement for any of the vehicle doors or the boot to be left open to indicate that loading is taking place.             

Hazardous chemicals or substances

Claims by companies that toxic or highly dangerous substances were being delivered/collected or used in nearby premises need to be given careful consideration.             

On the first occasion the company concerned will be requested to provide evidence that the activity was taking place and if this is provided, the PCN will be cancelled.             

The company should apply for a dispensation if deliveries or work is to be carried out on a regular basis.

Disabled parking bays and blue badge holders

In Leeds, valid blue badge holders can park in off-street parking bays for an unlimited time, free of charge.

Under the terms of the national scheme, a blue badge holder must not park:

  • at a time when loading or unloading is prohibited (02 contravention)
  • in a bus or tram lane during the hours of operation
  • in a cycle lane
  • on any clear way
  • on pedestrian crossings
  • in parking places reserved for specific users, eg resident/business bays, loading bays, taxi, cycles
  • in suspended parking bays
  • where temporary parking restrictions are in force along a length of road
  • on school ‘Keep Clear’ markings
  • bus stops
  • on the pavement (unless signs permit it)

Parking on a single or double yellow line (where there are no loading restrictions) is permitted, but is limited to a 3 hour maximum and both the blue badge and time clock (which must be set to show the time of arrival) must be displayed.

Blue badge holders may park in pay and display bays free of charge and without time limit, providing the blue badge is clearly displayed with all the relevant details visible.

In Leeds, disabled bays are enforceable 24 hours a day and blue badge holders may park in them, for a maximum of three hours (four hours in the city centre), but are not permitted to park in residents or other permit bays.

The PCN is cancelled the first time, for pay and display, permit bays and yellow line contraventions only, and the cancellation letter states that if the same circumstances arise, any further PCNs will not be cancelled but there may be mitigating circumstances where discretion is exercised.

Where the motorist has parked on a yellow line covered by a loading restriction, the PCN will not be cancelled, as it is clearly explained on the badge itself that it is not valid for use on this type of restriction.

It should be noted that the blue badge can only be used when the holder is either present in the vehicle, either as the motorist or passenger, or when the vehicle is being used to pick up or drop off the holder. It is not valid for use by anyone else, eg, someone shopping on behalf of the holder.

CEOs may issue a parking guide as an initial warning where motorists have not followed the instructions laid down in the blue badge scheme.

Dispensations may be allowed if permission to park a vehicle for a longer period than the parking restrictions will allow is required. Examples include, on yellow lines, non-chargeable restrictions (e.g. 1 hour no return in 2 hours), residents only permit zones and in pedestrianised areas (where the Police have already given their permission for the vehicle to enter the area). There may be others that are not as common.

In Leeds, dispensations are NOT allowed for vehicles to park anywhere on the Loop, in loading bays for longer than is necessary to load/unload and are predominantly used on yellow lines and in pedestrianised areas. 

A Suspensions Scheme is in place to allow for parking longer than the permitted hours on pay and display bays and the Tradesman’s Permitted Parking Scheme is in operation in residents only permit schemes. 

Dispensation scheme

A dispensation can only be issued where it is considered necessary for the vehicle to be parked close to a property, such as where work is being carried out and heavy equipment/tools are kept in the vehicle. Scaffolders are a good example. If the vehicle can be unloaded and then parked legally, the dispensation is not granted. 

Dispensations will only be considered if there are no pay and display bays or loading bays in the vicinity which would allow for the activity to take place. Another consideration is that the dispensation will not lead to severe problems with traffic flow, is not in the interests of the area/city or there is a sign that forbids one to be allowed. 

A form has to be completed to allow the following information to be obtained from the person making a request:

  • reason why dispensation required (nature of business to take place)
  • exact location
  • name/company 
  • contact number
  • vehicle details including make and registration number

Motorists should also consider the following:

  • hours of operation
  • disruption to other road users
  • disruption to local businesses
  • will it be noisy
  • any alternative sites
  • how busy the area is
  • any environmental considerations

The caller is informed if it is found that a dispensation is not appropriate after the details have been taken. The council reserves the right to revoke the request. 

A PCN is issued when the terms of the dispensation are not complied with, for example if the vehicle is waiting at a different location, outside the times and date shown on the dispensation, or for a different purpose.

PCNs issued where the terms of a dispensation has been breached are enforced unless there are other circumstances that warrant cancellation.

Dispensations in residents only parking zones

On occasion, residents may require additional visitor parking. This will usually be required for a short period and may be for the following types of situation:             

  • new resident pending issue of permit
  • weddings, parties and other family gatherings
  • funerals and wakes
  • coffee mornings and charity fund-raisers
  • short term family medical care

In such cases, a dispensation can be offered providing a vehicle registration number for each vehicle is supplied and a start and end time can be given. A dispensation form must be completed and the dispensation procedure followed in each case. Other scenarios will be considered by a supervisor before a decision is made and the householder advised.             

Removal vans do not require a dispensation.             


Dropped kerbs or footways

If a vehicle has been parked on the carriageway adjacent to a footway, cycle track or verge which have been lowered to meet the level of the carriageway it is in contravention of the parking regulations. 

Dropped kerbs or footways are put in place to:

  • assist pedestrians crossing the carriageway
  • assist cyclists entering or leaving the carriageway
  • assist vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge

The vehicle does not have to be parallel to the carriageway and this is not classed as an obstruction (an offence which only the police can deal with). 

Blocked access

Motorists who claim they were unable to reach their intended parking space because of obstruction are not exempt.              

If a motorist claims that access is being persistently blocked, CEOs will issue PCNs to vehicles which are parked in contravention and will also respond to the complaints from house-holders who report vehicles parked across their driveways.              

The police deal with obstructions but will not usually become involved where a motorist is unable to get access to his property from the road. They will however usually take action where the motorist is unable to move their vehicle from the property (for example from the garage or drive onto the road).

DVLA inconsistencies

If the colour or make is wrongly recorded but similar on a PCN, the PCN is not cancelled. 

If there is photographic evidence, the PCN is pursued. 

Misspelling of owner name/address

The DVLA supplies the majority of the information regarding vehicle ownership. The misspelling of a name and address on a NtO does not invalidate it nor does it discharge the liability of the person receiving it. The onus is still on the genuine owner to deal with the matter.             

Exemptions and cancellations policy

A PCN is issued when the TRO is breached, unless the breach is unavoidable. Either it could not be foreseen or it is necessary in the situation.

Once the CEO has begun to issue a PCN, the CEO has no authority to void it or cancel it.

General points

Vehicles can sometimes be exempt from particular restrictions at particular times and in particular circumstances, but no vehicle is completely exempt.             

If the motorist leaves the vehicle they have parked, even if it appears that they will return shortly (passengers in car, door open, lights flashing) they are deemed to have parked.             

If a motorist is parked illegally but is sat in the driver’s seat they will be asked to move, and will be issued with a PCN if they refuse.             

A motorist going to purchase a fee ticket from a pay and display machine, or collect a visitor’s permit from the person they are visiting is exempt. A motorist going to get change is not.              

Emergency vehicles are only exempt when carrying out duties, not in other circumstances.              

Vehicles used for utilities (water, gas, phone, cable, TV), building, funerals and weddings are exempt from the restrictions provided the following 2 conditions are met:              

  • the vehicle is in use for this purpose
  • parking in contravention of the restrictions is necessary rather than just convenient for example, a scaffolding truck or a glazier fitting a large glass panel will need to park adjacent to the building and so they will be exempt. The building foreman could easily park legally and walk so will not be exempt.

Council vehicles will be treated in exactly the same way as any other vehicles. Evidence from a third party must be supplied by the motorist. If the motorist states that further information will prove his / her case then it is their responsibility to provide it.              

Testimony from friends, relatives or employers will not normally be considered sufficient evidence to cancel a PCN without verifiable documentary evidence.              

Loading or unloading areas

  • residents parking zones
  • double or single yellow lines
  • pay and display bays

Parking is permitted for loading and unloading in these bays. The parking of the vehicle to do so must be necessary and not simply convenient (such as if they are delivering or collecting an item too large for them to carry).              

No loading or unloading areas

There are loading restrictions in place that prohibit parking even for loading when this would cause traffic flow problems, for example during peak traffic periods and in bus lanes.              

They are shown by yellow markings on the kerb. The restricted hours are shown by a sign. No loading areas are only put in place in areas where traffic flow is particularly important and there are no exceptions to these restrictions.              

Please note that these exemptions only apply while the loading and unloading is ongoing. The signing of delivery notes is considered to be part of the loading process and is also exempt. Once that has finished the exemption ends and a PCN will be issued. When the motorist has finished loading or unloading, they should move their vehicle or pay the applicable charge for parking.              

Blue badge holders

None of the blue badge exemptions apply unless the holder is present in the vehicle. If there is reason to believe that this is not the case CEOs will issue a PCN (for example if another person is seen getting out of the vehicle with no sign of the badge holder present). Blue badge holders can:             

  • park for free at an on-street pay & display bay
  • park for up to three hours on yellow lines providing they also display a time clock displaying the time of arrival
  • park in time restricted bays for as long as they like 
  • are allowed 2 weeks to renew an expired badge
  • all other restrictions apply.

Ticket, permit or badge not displayed properly

If the fee ticket is not displayed properly (for example upside down) but details can still be seen the CEOs do not issue PCN.              

If the details can’t be seen, the CEOs will issue a PCN              

If the motorist subsequently provides proof that they held a valid permit, blue badge or pay and display ticket the PCN will be cancelled in the first instance only. Subsequent PCNs will be pursued.

Motorist returns to vehicle

If a motorist returns to their vehicle this is irrelevant to the issue of the PCN. The contravention still applies because they left their car so they are deemed to have parked.              

Sometimes it may become apparent to the CEO once the PCN has been issued that it was issued incorrectly (for example, the motorist returns and has clearly been loading). As the CEO cannot void or cancel any PCN, they make notes in their pocket book and advise the motorist to write in.             

Motorist drive the vehicle away

If the CEO starts to issue the PCN to a vehicle but does not have enough time to serve it before the vehicle is driven away, the PCN is deemed to have been issued and will be served by post on the owner/registered keeper (whose identity is obtained from the DVLA), and also acts as the Notice to Owner.

Exempt vehicles

The following vehicles are exempted from the regulations in all circumstances, provided that they are being used for their proper purpose, and for as long as reasonably necessary:              

  • vehicles being used for fire brigade, police or ambulance purposes

The following vehicles are exempted in the circumstances shown below. However, in all cases there should be evidence that the exempted activity is taking place and that the vehicle concerned is actively engaged in this activity. If no exempted activity was seen to be taking place by the CEO, the PCN will be upheld on the basis that the CEO observed the vehicle for a reasonable length of time and saw no indication to suggest that the activity was taking place.

  • vehicles being used for the removal of any obstruction to traffic

Post Office and other post/parcel delivery vehicles

Generally, post office vans being used for the delivery or collection of mail and parcels are exempt from the parking restrictions for as long as they are being used for this purpose.             

If a PCN is issued and an exemption is claimed, the request must be accompanied by a letter from the post office, on headed paper, confirming this.             

Royal Mail vehicles, like other vehicles, are not exempt from parking on school zigzags and crossings.              

This exemption also applies to vehicles which do not belong to the Royal Mail, but are being used by a universal postal service provider, such as other carriers who are licensed to collect and deliver post and parcels.

Funerals and weddings

The hearse and any other funeral vehicles are exempt when actively involved in a funeral. Any other vehicles used by mourners are not. Dispensations should be applied for as part of the arrangements for the event.             


An exemption will apply, providing the CEO is satisfied that glazing is taking place. In the absence of evidence a PCN will be issued. If it is subsequently proved that glazing was taking place, the PCN will be cancelled provided that documentary proof of the date, time and address of the work is received. 

Security vans

Secure cash vans are occasionally required to be parked in close proximity to the premises where cash is being delivered or picked up, for safety reasons.              

Security vans delivering other ‘lower priority’ items, such as recorded mail, should usually park in accordance with the regulations although this may not always be possible.             

PCNs issued to security vans will only be cancelled if suitable proof is provided by the security company.

Exemptions not related to specific vehicles

There are other exemptions in the TROs that apply to any vehicle in particular circumstances. These are:             

  • where the motorist is prevented from circumstances beyond his control from moving the vehicle. (This covers a vehicle breakdown, but may cover other circumstances too – each case will need to be assessed on its own merits)
  • where the vehicle needs to wait in order to avoid an accident
  • where the vehicle is parked to enable someone to get in or out. This is usually limited to 2 minutes except where the person getting in/out of the vehicle needs longer, such as if they are elderly or disabled. In these circumstances the vehicle may wait for as long as is necessary
  • where the vehicle is being used for loading and unloading

Generally, if a motorist receives a PCN and is claiming an exemption from the regulations, the burden of proof rests with the motorist and they should be able to produce evidence that supports their claim. If this can be done, the PCN is cancelled.              

However, it is not always possible for a motorist to produce proof and each case is considered on its own merits.


Vehicles parked by garages are not exempt. Although the owner or registered keeper has a strong argument that they should not be penalised for the actions of the garage, under legislation, the owner or registered keeper are responsible and the PCN will be pursued.

Government departments

Government departments are not normally exempt from the parking regulations.

Unless evidence in the form of a letter on headed notepaper from a senior officer can be provided to confirm that the purpose for leaving the vehicle illegally parked, PCNs will be upheld. 

Grace periods 

Pay and display

If the fee ticket has expired, allow 5 minutes grace period.

Yellow lines 

  • If a vehicle is parked in a no loading/unloading area the PCN is issued straight way
  • Goods carrying vehicles are given 5 minutes grace period

Residents permit zone 

  • if no permit then issue PCN
  • if permit out of date for over 2 weeks then issue PCN
  • if permit less than 2 weeks over expiry date, no PCN issued

Hire agreements

If a company makes representations on the grounds that they are a hire firm and they supply the hirer details, the provisions relating to hiring agreements as contained in the Road Traffic (Owner Liability) Regulations 1975, will apply:

Where the hiring period is for a fixed period of less than 6 months, the hiring agreement must contain the following information:

  • details of the person signing the statement of liability full name date of birth permanent address address at the time of hiring 
  • details of driving licence - serial number or motorist’s number, issuing authority, expiry date.
  • details of the hiring agreement
  • registration number of the hire vehicle make of hire vehicle registration mark of any substitute vehicles make of any substitute vehicles time and date of commencement of hiring period time and date of expiry of hiring period time and date of commencement of any extension time and date of expiry of any extension

In all cases the hirer must sign a statement of liability in respect of PCNs issued to the hire vehicle.

These provisions are mandatory and any failure to comply with all these requirements means that the agreement is not then a proper “hiring agreement” within the terms of the Act. If the hire company fails to comply with these requirements, they become liable for payment of the PCN.

Where the hirer is a company or corporate body, it is not necessary to provide the motorist’s date of birth or details relating to the motorist’s licence.

The above requirements also apply to circumstances where a courtesy car is ‘loaned’ to a motorist and also include cases where taxi or mini cab companies rent vehicles to motorists.

The hire company is liable unless they provide a signed agreement from the hirer accepting liability for any PCNs issued during the hire period.

Visitors to this country

If a PCN is issued to a foreign motorist who is borrowing or hiring a british- registered vehicle, the PCN will be enforced and the owner advised that he is ultimately responsible for the penalty, as liability rests with the vehicle owner rather than the motorist.             

Mitigating circumstances

Generally every case is treated on its merits and guidelines. However, there are a few general guidelines, which are shown below.


If the delay is related to any medical or emergency situation such as sudden sickness, difficulties in walking due to disability, stopping to assist in an emergency situation and any other such cases, a degree of leniency is exercised. 


Cases involving the hospital, doctor’s visits with sick children and delays due to sudden illness are treated with leniency. It is usually appropriate for us to consider the length of the delay.             


An emergency is an unforeseen situation, which prevents a motorist from moving his/her vehicle. They are usually of a medical nature and leniency is exercised where it is felt that the motorist could not have foreseen the situation and/or had no chance to return to the vehicle.             

It is useful to remember that there is an exemption for motorists who were unable to move their vehicle due to ‘circumstances beyond their control’, and to consider whether or not the circumstances fall into that category.             

Where a driver makes a claim for cancellation on the grounds that either he/she or a passenger is taken ill or injured in any way, proof is requested in the form of a letter from the GP. If the letter does not cover the date of the PCN, or it relates to a pre-arranged doctor’s visit, the PCN will not be cancelled. There may also be cases where it is clear from the proof submitted that the motorist has been advised not to drive, and if this is the case, the PCN will be upheld.             

Urgent toilet visits will not normally permit cancellation of a PCN unless mitigating medical circumstances applied or the motorist appeals on the grounds that they suffer from Crohns disease and hold a “Can’t wait” membership card.             

Crohn’s and Colitis “Can’t wait” scheme

The Crohn’s and Colitis UK, Leeds and District Group Can’t Wait Card Campaign, with the support of the council was launched in March 2013.              

This provided an exemption for card holders who on occasions may need to park in a hurry to find and use toilet facilities and may not always be possible to park legally. In these circumstances the council has agreed to cancel any PCN’s that are issued. This applies to all parking restrictions except:             

  • disabled bays
  • no loading areas
  • zig zags near schools and crossings

All other restrictions such as standard yellow lines and pay and display bays are covered. The exemption applies for up to 15 minutes. It only applies in emergencies and PCN’s should not be cancelled if a vehicle is parked for longer than necessary or if the parking is for another purpose.              

Motorcycle bays

Motorcycle bays are not mandatory bays – they are an exemption to the waiting/loading restrictions in a restricted street, which apply to solo motorcycles only. In view of this, any other vehicle can be issued with a PCN for the contravention of parking in a restricted street during prescribed hours.              

However, CEOs will probably issue a PCN for the contravention of being parked in a parking place or area not designated for that class of vehicle.             

A motorcycle bay is indicated by white markings on the carriageway with the words ‘Solo Motorcycles’.             

Non-mitigating circumstances

The following examples show situations where we are usually unable to cancel PCNs:

  1. I thought I was parked legally but made a mistake
  2. there was nowhere else to park
  3. this is the first time I’ve got a parking ticket / I won’t do it again / I’ll be more careful next time
  4. I only stopped for a minute
  5. I lent the car to a friend and they won’t pay the penalty
  6. I was parked outside my own house / business
  7. I went to get change for the pay & display machine
  8. I got lost / forgot about the time and so could not return to my vehicle in time
  9. my meeting / hospital / dental appointment ran late
  10. my ticket had fallen on the floor again / I had forgotten to display it again
  11. my permit / blue badge had fallen on the floor again / I had forgotten to display it again
  12. I did not know I had to pay and display
  13. I had been loading / unloading
  14. I thought I could return to the machine and pay for some more time

Bank holidays

Any PCN issued on a bank holiday is upheld, unless it falls into the normal criteria for cancellation. Prior to making a decision, the service instructions for each bank holiday are checked.

Double parking

If a vehicle is parked more than 50 cm from the edge of the carriageway and is not within a designated parking place then it is considered to be double parked and in contravention of the parking regulations. Discretion will be given in proven cases of emergency. The vehicle should not cause danger or obstruction to other road users.             

Going for change

Motorists are not given time to obtain change when they park, they are only given time to purchase a fee ticket.

Notes in vehicles

Notes in vehicles will not necessarily be accepted by appeals officers, unless it refers to a dispensation that has been pre-authorised by parking services or there are other extenuating circumstances that can be independently verified to deem the note as wholly relevant in deciding the appeal.             

All notes in vehicles are noted down by CEOs in their pocket books when they issue to PCN. If we receive an appeal the appeals officer will then use their discretion in deciding the matter.             

Pregnancy and mothers with young children

Usually, pregnancy is not considered to be a disability and delays caused by young children would not normally allow for cancellation of a PCN.             

However, each case is treated on its own merits. If for example, the delay is short and unavoidable, or was caused by a minor medical emergency (child being sick, pregnant mother feeling unwell), the PCN will be cancelled after proof of the pregnancy from the GP or hospital is provided.             

Appeals officers bear in mind that there is an exemption in the TROs which relates to unavoidable circumstances which prevented the motorist from removing the vehicle, and will consider whether or not the situation described falls into this category or not. Even if it does not, discretion can be used to cancel the PCN.             

Vehicle not at scene

Where the motorist claims that he was not in the exact location shown on the PCN, if the CEO has made clear notes on the hand held computer and in his pocket-book, the PCN will be enforced.

Pay and display bays

These are bays which are controlled by a pay and display ticket machine, which will usually cover several bays in the road. Car parks will also be controlled by various types of pay and display ticket machine. Although the types of machine may differ, the regulations regarding paying and displaying, whether on street or in a car park are generally similar.

A motorist using a pay and display machine is required to have sufficient change available to get out of the car, walk to the machine, and insert coins. No time is allowed to go for change.

The TROs usually require that the pay and display ticket be purchased in one operation (the motorist cannot stay in the same bay and purchase a further ticket if he subsequently realises he has not paid enough, or wishes to stay longer than allowed by the original fee ticket). 

However, where a motorist has purchased two tickets due to a problem with the first ticket, such as coins not registering properly, providing that the total amount paid was sufficient to cover the length of time parked, the PCN will be cancelled on the first occasion only.

A pay and display ticket must be clearly displayed on the vehicle so that it can be seen easily by a CEO. Motorists often claim that they had a pay and display ticket, but that it fell off the windscreen. If they do not produce a ticket covering the time they were parked, the PCN will be enforced. 

However, if they do send a valid ticket, it is usual practice to cancel the ticket on one occasion only. In Leeds some fee tickets have serial numbers printed on the reverse and where the fee ticket has been observed turned over and a PCN has been issued, the serial number is noted by the CEO. If the serial number on the fee ticket submitted by the motorist does not correspond with that noted by the CEO then the PCN will not be waived and should be deemed payable. 

Wrong machine used

Unless there are other mitigating circumstances, the PCN will be enforced. However, in circumstances where the motorist has used a nearby machine and the time period purchased does not exceed the maximum time period at the bay in which the motorist actually parked, the PCN will be cancelled. In these cases, the motorist has paid to park legally and the council has suffered no financial loss.        

Generally, any instance where the motorist has made a mistake in where to park does not in itself justify cancellation of the PCN.

Machines not working

If a fee ticket machine is not working properly and this is confirmed by maintenance records, then the PCN is cancelled.         

If the motorist reports a fault to the CEO (either verbally or by way of a note on the vehicle) the CEO will make arrangements for the machine to be checked. If this has not been done, the PCN is cancelled. This is accepted only if there is no other working machine nearby. 


A resident or business permit holder who has parked in the wrong zone or has forgotten to display their permit are treated leniently on the first occasion and advised of the correct use of the permit. This does not apply if the permit holder has parked on yellow lines due to insufficient space being available in permit bays or a misunderstanding of the regulations.

If the permit holder applies for a permit prior to the date of the PCN, but did not receive it, the PCN will be cancelled after checking that the application was received in time. If the application was signed within 3 days of the PCN being issued, then our policy is to cancel the PCN. If the application form is received after the date of the contravention or there has been some other delay on the part of the permit holder in renewing the permit, the PCN will be upheld unless there are other mitigating circumstances, eg the permit holder was away. This applies particularly to new residents who have not yet obtained a permit.

In Leeds, reminder letters are posted out 3-4 weeks before the expiry date of a permit, but just as with the vehicle excise license, it is the owner or motorist’s responsibility to ensure that his/her vehicle displays a valid permit. In Leeds, CEOs will not allow any grace time if a permit is not displayed but if the permit displayed has expired, will allow a period of 2 weeks. 

Residents permits

A residents permit is not transferable and cannot be used in any other vehicle. If a permit holder changes his vehicle or uses a different vehicle for a short period of time, he must either make arrangements to obtain a replacement permit or use a visitor’s permit.

If a PCN is issued whilst a replacement permit is being obtained, or if the applicant has failed to notify us, it should be upheld.        

Visitors permits

Leniency should be exercised on the first occasion where a mistake is made, eg use of the permit in the wrong bay, unless it is suspected that the permit has been deliberately altered or is being re-used. Only one visitors permit per property is issued. These are not transferable between zones. 

Business permits

There are occasions when certain business properties may be considered to be within the boundary of the zone. Such businesses may be allowed to apply for a limited number of business permits (up to a maximum of 3 per business property).        

The permits can be used by the business to park vehicles within the zone to enable the effective running of the business. These are not transferable between zones.        

Contract permits

Contract permits allow motorists to park in council-owned car parks and are renewable quarterly or annually. 

NHS and all residents zones permits

In Leeds the NHS are allowed to apply for permits for their key workers and service providers who have to park regularly in residents zones to visit clients as part of their job. These are usually midwives, health visitors, district nurses, doctors etc. Such permits are transferable between zones.        

Other key service providers are also allowed to apply for permits to park in residents zones in order to visit clients as part of their job. These may include local authority workers such as Social Services, DSS etc. The permits are also transferable.        

Landlords Permit Scheme

All applications for residents permits should be checked to make sure that a resident is applying and not the owner of the property (ie landlord). All permits are to be used for the purpose they are designed for and any misuse can result in the issue of a PCN and the ultimate withdrawal of the permit facility for the individual or organisation.         

Landlords who are members of Leeds Landlords Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) may be entitled to a small number of parking permits to help them park at the properties they own or manage within residents only parking zones. 


Marked police cars are exempt provided they are being used as part of police duties. Unmarked police cars will only be exempt with confirmation from the Chief Superintendent (or other Senior Officer) that they were on official police business. 

Police officer or civil enforcement officer gave permission to park

Where details of the officer’s name or number are given, confirmation will be sought before the PCN is cancelled.        

Where any doubt exists, the benefit of the doubt should be given to the motorist in the first case only.        

Where no details are given by the motorist, the PCN will not be cancelled and the motorist will be advised that further details are needed in order to justify cancellation.

Private property

Parking on private property, which includes parking on council housing estates, is not a matter for the parking section to deal with. CEOs do not enforce the regulations relating to such parking areas unless the area has been designated as an off-street car park.

Housing estates often have their own resident permit parking scheme and take action against people who park in the estate without a permit, such as clamping and removing vehicles. Motorists who have been clamped or removed should enquire to the appropriate housing office or enforcement agency once the address of the estate has been ascertained. 

Permits issued for housing estates are not valid on public roads and those parking outside the estate may therefore receive a PCN. These will be enforced and you will be made aware in the literature that accompanies your permit, that it is not valid on the public highway.

Restricted hours

Yellow lines

There are two types of waiting restriction:

  1. single yellow line – no waiting for at least 8 hours between 7am and 7pm on four or more days of the week. If no days are shown on the sign, the regulations are in force during the times that the CPZ is operational. Outside the CPZ, each restriction will be signed with the times of operation.
  2. double yellow lines - no waiting at any time.

Loading restrictions are always placed in conjunction with yellow lines and are represented by markings on the kerb, and again there are two types –         

  1. Two kerb markings – no loading at any time.
  2. One kerb marking – no loading during the times shown on the sign.

Generally, the hours of operation of the waiting and the loading restrictions will correspond.        

Disabled bays – mandatory

Usually 24 hours a day, every day in Leeds whether or not within a CPZ. The exact hours of control should be checked on an individual bay basis when dealing with queries and complaints.        

School crossings

If these are included in the TROs in Leeds they are enforceable by CEOs. They can also be enforced by the Police whose penalty would take priority. If they are not included in the TROs then any obstruction queries will become a police matter.        

Bus stops

Usually 7am to 7pm, any day of the week, but it does vary and therefore the signs and line markings should be referred to.        

Road signs and markings (missing/obscured/broken)

Yellow lines

If the waiting or loading restrictions are in force at the same times as the rest of the CPZ, the times of control are shown on the zone entry sign and there is no need for any additional signs to be in place above each stretch of yellow line, unless additional restrictions apply. There is also no need for signs above double yellow lines as these are understood to be in force at any time. In practice, many yellow lines are signed, but it is important to note that the absence of these in a CPZ will not lead to cancellation of a PCN.        

If motorists claim that there was no sign and the restrictions require that a sign be in place, a site inspection will be arranged to check on the allegation. If there is no sign on the same side of the road as the yellow line, the PCN will be cancelled and arrangements made for the correct sign to be installed.        

Where yellow lines or kerb markings have been partly worn away or covered in part by re-surfacing, enforcement action can be taken depending on how much of the line is visible and whether it is considered reasonable for the motorist to know that a line was there.         

Where yellow lines are obscured by snow, leaves etc, enforcement action may also be taken, although leniency may be judged appropriate.         

If time plates are damaged or defective, providing that their meaning is clear, enforcement action will be taken.        

Where there is no yellow line beneath any part of the vehicle or where, outside a CPZ, there is no time plate in the vicinity of the vehicle, setting out the restrictions in force, no enforcement action for the restricted street offence may be taken.        

Parking bays

There should be a sign above every parking place (bay or group of bays), which gives details of who the bay is available to (resident or business permit holders and/or visitors displaying permits or using pay and display machines).         

Most bays also give details of the hours and days of control. In all cases where it is alleged that a time plate is missing, a site check will be arranged. If the check confirms that there is no sign, the PCN will be cancelled and arrangements made for the problem to be rectified.        

Please note that there is no requirement for a sign to be above metered parking bays as the information required is already given on the meter itself.        

Claims that the motorist did not realise where he/she had parked or used the wrong type of bay will not be allowed.        

Similarly, if road markings are missing or shown to be incorrect, the PCN will be cancelled and arrangements made for rectification.        

Pay and display bays

It is not necessary for additional signs to be placed above pay and display bays. Instructions for use are on the front of the machine itself (the side facing the pavement) whilst each machine also has a clearly visible ‘P’ sign that can be seen from the road.        

Claims that a motorist did not realise there was a machine in the bays will not be allowed unless there are other circumstances that need to be taken into consideration.        

In car parks, the legal position is that the restrictions must be clearly indicated - it does not matter about the size or shape as long as we can demonstrate that they are clear. However there are rules about the sizes of signs on public highways.        

Obscured signs

If the time plate is shown to exist, but was temporarily or partly obscured each case will be considered on its own merits, depending on the degree of obscurity and whether the relevant details could still be seen.        

Adjudicators have accepted that the absence of the ‘T’ Bar does not always mean that the restriction cannot be enforced, as long as it is clear where the yellow line applies.        

Kerb markings

A claim that a sign was not visible will be referred for inspection. If it is proved to be the case then the PCN will be cancelled, unless there are sufficient alternative signs in the area.

The school markings which do not permit parking during term time are there for the safety of children. Parents dropping off or picking up children should not park on the school markings.        

In Leeds, many school markings do not form part of any TRO and are therefore unenforceable by the council. However, those that are will be enforced by the council.         

If vehicles parked on the school markings are deemed an obstruction then the police would be responsible for any enforcement.         

It is also important to note that a school’s own vehicles are not permitted to park on the school zigzag markings regardless of whether or not they are being used to pick up or drop off children.        

The school should ideally inform parents and visitors not to park on the school markings and emphasise the importance of not doing so in the interest of the safety of children.        


If you wish to place a skip on the public footway, verge or road you will need to obtain a licence to do so from Leeds City Council, highways services.

The council will only suspend residential parking areas or parking pay and display bay(s) for a skip if there is no practical alternative site. The decision of the council will be binding and any suspension, if granted, may be revoked at any time.

Stolen vehicles and lost or stolen keys

If there is independent evidence (such as from a recovery organisation, not a testimony from relatives or friends) an exemption will apply. This is only in cases where permitted parking time has elapsed. If vehicles are found incorrectly parked on yellow lines, in a resident’s bay, etc, the PCN will be upheld, regardless of the lost keys.

Police confirmation of the incident, including a crime number, is required in order for an appeals officer to cancel the PCN.

Suspension scheme and suspended bays

Permitted parking bays

If the vehicle was parked at a location without prior notification of the impending suspension being received, if the claim can be proven the PCN will be cancelled, providing that the vehicle was displaying a permit or a pay and display ticket that would have allowed parking had the suspension not been in force.

Where a motorist can show that he was away from home and could not have had any knowledge of the impending suspension, PCNs will be cancelled. Suitable evidence should be requested, such as air or train tickets.        

Suspension of a parking place applies in law for the full 24 hours a day. However, unless the purpose of the suspension extends beyond the controlled hours, ie furniture removals, security, building works, etc, vehicles are normally only dealt with during the hours of enforcement.        

The council can make a charge for suspensions and dispensations.        

Pay and display machines

When a machine is suspended it is covered with a sign that makes it clear that a vehicle should not park in that place.        

The CEO will leave a note on the vehicle telling the motorist that the vehicle may park until the time has expired, but that then the car should be moved.        

A PCN issued to a vehicle parked at a suspended machine will be enforced unless it can be shown that a vehicle was parked before a bay was suspended then an exemption should apply. The CEO responsible for coning / signing the suspension should note any vehicles in the bay at the time so that this can be established.         

Suspensions enable vehicles connected with commercial activities to park on pay and display bays, throughout the Special Enforcement Area (SEA), on-street and in car parks for longer than the permitted hours. They are chargeable on a per bay per day basis.         

Suspensions are not chargeable on Sundays, but permission from parking services will still need to be obtained to have the bays suspended.        

Unless the contractor indicates that he will provide his own cones, the parking services enforcement team is responsible for placing cones in the suspended bays each morning.        

Arrangements for large scale suspensions eg for the purposes of filming, should be passed to the project officer for events & maintenance for his approval and pricing. 

Holidays (requests for evidence)

In cases where residents claim that a parking bay was suspended whilst they were on holiday and therefore, they could not move the vehicle, evidence is usually required.        

The evidence is in the form of the following:        

  • A flight ticket
  • A letter from a tour operator
  • A copy of the hotel bill

The dates of the suspension and the times at which prior notice was circulated will be checked and if the details do not match or the appropriate evidence cannot be provided, the PCN will be upheld.

Taxis, cabs, mini-cabs

Taxis and private hire vehicles are allowed to stop to allow passengers to board or alight for as long as is necessary for the purpose. It is not an automatically exempt activity for the taxi driver to assist passengers into premises and leave the vehicle unattended. 

If a licensed cab is left unattended it is likely receive a PCN.

However, each case is treated on its merits. It is recognised that drivers working for hospitals need to enter premises to collect patients and that the driver may also be required to make sure the passenger is settled inside their house upon their return. PCNs are cancelled in these circumstances.

There are occasions when taxis and private hire vehicles are used to carry essential medical supplies, such as blood, organs, emergency equipment. In these cases, the PCN is cancelled upon production of suitable evidence.

Taxis (Hackney Carriage) are allowed to travel in all bus lanes in Leeds, but private hire vehicles are not allowed.

Taxis (hackney carriage)

These are licensed and permitted to ply for hire in the street. They may be black cabs (Hackney carriages) or saloon cars or people carriers and they display a ‘taxi’ sign.         

Private hire (cab or mini-cab)

Private hire vehicles can only handle pre-arranged pick-ups. These are often called private hire vehicles.         

Taxis, ranks and stands

There are no general exemptions for taxis and minicabs with regard to parking.

Unauthorised movement of vehicle

If a vehicle is re-positioned (a street to street removal in effect), details must be retained for the consideration of representations and a note should be left on the vehicle explaining why it was necessary to re-position it.

Any movement of a vehicle by a police officer or any instruction to leave a vehicle where it is by a police officer is considered to be an authorised movement and any resulting PCNs will be cancelled.

Unless there is any evidence to suggest that a vehicle was moved by a third party, PCNs will be enforced.

Utilities companies

Electricity and gas companies are not automatically exempt from the regulations, and should make arrangements for bay(s) to be suspended if they are working in the area.

The electricity and gas companies often display a board in the vehicle when engaged on emergency work and in these circumstances there may not always be time to arrange a suspension. The PCN is cancelled providing that the circumstances are explained in a letter from the Area Manager. This should clearly state that the motorist was dealing with an emergency situation.

If abuse is suspected, the CEO who issued the PCN will have made a note if the vehicle was unattended and there was no sign that work was being carried out. In these circumstances the PCN is upheld.

Consideration is not given for operatives carrying out routine maintenance to electricity/gas appliances or meter reading.


An emergency is considered to last only as long as it takes to turn off the mains supply, whether gas, water or electricity. The vehicle should then be moved to a permitted parking place before any subsequent repairs are performed.        

PCNs issued in these circumstances are treated on their merits, however, generally they are upheld unless there is evidence of the activity taking place at the time of the contravention.

Claims that the vehicle had to be parked close to the emergency as it was carrying heavy equipment, should be dealt with as delivery and collection/loading and unloading.        

However, further consideration should be given to pump-out situations, where the pump-out equipment needs to be connected to a generator in the vehicle.

Trademan's permitted parking scheme

This scheme is to enable parking within a residents only permit zone, during hours that the zone is in operation where parking can only be undertaken by a vehicle displaying a valid residents or visitors or business permit. If a vehicle is not displaying a valid permit then it could incur a PCN.        

Most contractors should have access to the residents’ own visitor permit, but there will be times when the property being worked on may be empty. In those cases the contractor will have to seek permission from parking services to park within the zone without displaying a valid permit. 

A tradesman’s permission allows trades people to park in an residents only permit zone while they carry out work at an address in the zone. The scheme is not for landlords unless they can demonstrate that they are the undertaking the work to the property. Please also see Landlords section.        

It is recognised that some companies will require more than one vehicle so the charge is per company rather than per vehicle.        

The council is entitled to charge for certain dispensations but, where the trades person requires less than two hours of parking time, this will be free of charge. However, details are still taken and the CEOs advised accordingly.        

Stays of longer than two hours under this scheme are charged on daily / weekly basis. Full details must be received by fax on letter headed paper and paid for in advance before commencement of the permission.

Notice to owner (NtO)

Where a PCN has been issued, if it has not been paid within 28 days, the council concerned may serve an NtO on the person who they believe to be the owner of the vehicle on the date of the contravention. 

The NtO must state the following:

  • the amount payable
  • the grounds on which the CEO believed that a contravention had occurred
  • that the PCN must be paid before the 28-day period of the date on which the NtO was served
  • that failure to make payment may lead to an increased charge.
  • the amount of the increased charge
  • that the person on whom the NtO is served may be entitled to make representations against the PCN
  • representations can only be made by the recipient of the NtO and must be received by the council within 28 days of the NtO date. The council may disregard any representations received outside this 28 day period

Representations can be made on the following grounds:

  • the recipient never owned the vehicle in question, had ceased to be the owner before the date of the contravention or became the owner of the vehicle after the date of the contravention
  • that the contravention never occurred
  • that the vehicle had been taken without the recipient’s consent
  • that the relevant order was invalid
  • that the recipient is a hire company and they have provided the name and address of the hirer
  • that the penalty charge exceeded the relevant amount
  • there has been a procedural impropriety on the part of the enforcement authority
  • the penalty charge had already been paid in full

However, the grounds shown above are not exclusive and all representations are considered, even where they do not appear to fit into any of the grounds given above.

When representations have been made on the grounds that the recipient never owned the vehicle, had ceased to be the owner before the date of the contravention or became the owner after the date of the contravention, they must give the name and address of the person who bought/sold the vehicle and the date of the sale purchase. 

They should also provide proof in the form of a receipt for the sale or purchase or a copy of the DVLA registration form. However, it is important to note that this is not mandatory, and legally, the provision of a name and address may be all that is required. 

Where no evidence is supplied the representation may be rejected. However, it should be taken into consideration that the appellant may be allowed to obtain confirmation from the DVLA by the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT). It is therefore more appropriate to accept the representation and pursue the nominated keeper. 

If representations are made on the ground the recipient is a hire company and they have supplied details, they must give the name and address of the hirer, and enclose a copy of the hiring agreement and statement of liability.

Bankrupts and liquidations

Any claim that an individual or company had been adjudged bankrupt or gone into liquidation must be supported by appropriate documentation. 

A claim should be sent to the liquidator advising them how much the debt is for and providing proof of the debt (a copy of the Notice to Owner). The council can only ask for the amount shown on the Notice to Owner.         

The PCN is then put on an indefinite hold until a creditor meeting has taken place and further information is received from the liquidator.        

Complaints against civil enforcement officers

All allegations of misconduct or rudeness against any member of staff are taken seriously and referred through to the Parking Manager for the appropriate investigations/action to be taken. 

Leeds City Council has a formal complaints procedure which determines the timescales for dealing with formal complaints and responses to the person making a complaint. Usually an acknowledgement letter is required and a substantive response is issued after an investigation has been undertaken and the appropriate person(s) involved have been interviewed.

Legislation queries

Motorists who request copies of the legislation will only be sent photocopies if only one or two paragraphs are required. Copies of relevant legislation can be obtained from the Department for Transport web site.

If the motorist is querying the authority for a restriction at a particular location, the relevant TROs will be checked before replying, and if there is any error found, the PCN will be cancelled.

TROs can be viewed at local public libraries and at council offices, such as the Highways section.