Is it worth appealing a PCN when the parking app didn't work correctly?

I received a PCN for not displaying a valid parking ticket but there was an issue encountered when attempting to pay using RingGo, their parking partner, where the payment was approximately 20 minutes after the request was submitted.

I used the council’s web portal to submit an online appeal but I did receive any reply, having waited several weeks. Having returned from vacation in early September, there was a Notice to Owner waiting for me. I contacted the council department asking about my initial online appeal, to which I was told it was not accepted and they had written to me. I have never received their reply to my appeal.

I asked for details on the content of their letter, I was advised that “It’s a driver’s responsibility to locate a working parking machine to pay for parking, even if that means driving outside of the desired area where a driver would like to park”. I find this to be rather absurd as I specifically mentioned to them I was attempting to pay by CC using their partner app RingGo and the payment kept failing and was only processed approximately 20 minutes after the first attempt.

Asked on 29 September 2023 by Asad

Answered by Craig Cheetham
There seems to be a number of common issues with parking fine and app payments but whether your appeal is upheld depends entirely on the enforcement operator. RingGo itself will supply you with proof of payment and a VAT receipt to assist your appeal but whether the enforcement authority accepts this depends on if other payment options existed on the day and if you attempted to use them - including a payment machine accepting coins or cards and a pay-by-phone option. In the first instance, we would obtain proof of payment from RingGo (you can download receipts for past parking sessions via the app) and then send a recorded delivery letter to the relevant department at Reading Borough Council explaining the situation. However, while it may seem unreasonable, they could very well uphold the fine if other payment methods were available for you to use at the time.
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