Parking fines and enforcement

We enforce parking restrictions on our public roads and car parks to improve road safety, keep traffic flowing freely, and make sure people are using our car parks properly.

Parking on single and double yellow lines

  • Double yellow lines – no parking at any time of the day or night.
  • Double yellow small lines across the edge of the kerb – no loading at any time
  • Single yellow lines – restricted parking as indicated on the road sign
  • Single yellow small lines across the edge of the kerb – restricted loading as indicated on the road sign

Penalty charge notices (PCN)

If you don’t park legally and safely, we can issue you a penalty charge of £50 or £70, depending on the severity of the contravention.

Contraventions include, but are not limited to parking:

  • on double/single yellow lines
  • in loading bays when loading/unloading is not taking place
  • in disabled bays without displaying a valid blue badge
  • in a pay and display bay without displaying a ticket
  • in a pedestrian zone
  • in a residents’ parking zone without a required permit
  • where the kerb has been lowered to help pedestrians to cross the road.

Notice to owner

If you’re the registered owner and you don’t pay or challenge your penalty charge notice, we’ll send you a  'notice to owner' through the post.

You can challenge a ‘notice to owner’ on the actual document you receive.

If you don’t respond to the ‘notice to owner’, we’ll send you a 'charge certificate'. If you don’t  respond to this, we’ll register the debt with the Traffic Enforcement Centre in Northampton. Failure to pay the debt can result in action being taken by the council's debt enforcement agents.

You can find more information about parking regulations in The Highway Code.

Number plate recognition vehicle

You’ll receive a £70 fixed penalty charge notice through the post if you’re caught contravening parking restrictions on camera by our high-tech number plate recognition vehicle.

The vehicle responds to information from the public, councillors and schools about motorists who park where they shouldn't. It patrols the no stopping restrictions around schools and bus stops. These are areas where road markings and signage is present to help drivers avoid parking in breach of restrictions.

You can challenge a charge notice on the actual document you receive.

Pay your parking fine

The registered keeper or owner of a vehicle or its hirer is the person responsible for paying the penalty, regardless of whether that person was the driver or not.

To get a 50% reduction, you need to pay a penalty charge notice within 14 days of issue (21 days for a postal notice).

Pay your parking fine online now. 

Challenge a parking fine

You can challenge a parking fine if you think it has been issued unfairly.

Grounds for not accepting a challenge typically include:

Leaving your vehicle to get money to pay for parking

Unfortunately, as soon as you leave your vehicle unattended, other than to go to get a ticket from a pay and display machine, you are deemed to have parked.  Motorists should always arrive with sufficient change to pay for parking should the need arise.

Parking outside of a marked bay 

Parking outside of a marked parking bay in a car park hinders the movement of other vehicles.  If there was deemed to have been enough space in the car park to mark a parking bay without hindering the movement of other vehicles then there would be one marked.

Not displaying the correct permit for the space in a car park 

Some parking spaces are reserved for specified ticket/permit holders. These are marked/signed differently to other parking spaces and it is your responsibility to ensure that you are parking legally and to fully read and obey the signs and markings.

Parking in a bay meant for others

Some parking places on the highway are reserved for specific users such as residents' bays, police bays, doctors' bays or loading bays. When you park, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are doing so legally and to read and obey the road markings. Disabled drivers are not exempt from these restrictions.

Overstaying the time you have paid for

It is the motorist’s responsibility to buy enough time to cover the duration of the parking time required. When purchasing parking it is important to allow for the possible over-running of meetings or appointments.

Forgetting to set the clock for Blue Badge parking

Whilst blue badge holders are permitted to park for up to 3 hours where there are waiting restrictions (double or single yellow lines), it is a condition of the usage of your disabled badge that the clock should be set every time you use it and leave your car. This is so that the Civil Enforcement Officer knows that you are parked legally and what time you will return to your vehicle.  Not setting the clock prevents the Civil Enforcement Officer from knowing when you will be back and so they must assume that you have parked for longer that allowed and will issue a PCN.

Parking on double or single yellow lines

If you park on double or single yellow lines during the restricted hours (see the local time plates), even for a minute you remain liable for the PCN (however this does not apply to Blue Badge holders).

You are not allowed any time at all unless the reason that you have stopped is a permitted reason.  For example you cannot stop on a yellow line to ‘pop’ into a shop, withdraw cash or similar, you should find a legal parking place for this. Civil Enforcement Officers will observe your vehicle to determine if you have stopped for a permitted reason, but as soon as it is obvious that this is not the case a penalty charge notice will be issued.

Parking where loading is prohibited

This includes parking on double yellow/single yellow lines, double/single yellow kerb tabs during the restricted hours (see the local time plates). This applies to all vehicles including Blue Badge holders.

You are not allowed any time at all unless the reason that you have stopped is beyond the drivers control.   

I am the owner of the vehicle but it wasn’t me who parked there.

If you are the registered owner or keeper of the vehicle, then you are responsible for the PCN and must pay it. However, you will have the opportunity to notify us of the driver of the vehicle when you receive a Notice to Owner letter from us. If your vehicle was stolen when the PCN was issued then the PCN will normally be cancelled, provided that you produce a Police Incident Number.

I am new to the area and didn’t know about the restrictions/I thought I was parked legally, but I made a mistake

When you park, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are doing so legally and to read and obey the signs and road markings.

My car broke down

When driving, it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and will not break down. ‘Foreseeable’ problems such as running out of fuel/water/oil/brake fluid, or problems that have been happening for a while, e.g. not being able to start the vehicle, are no excuse and you will remain liable for the PCN. Emergency problems such as flat tyres, collisions etc can at the Council’s discretion, be accepted as valid reason for cancelling your PCN – in these circumstances, when you write to us please include a garage invoice, parts invoice where repairs have been carried out by yourself or a recovery sheet from a breakdown service as proof that your vehicle required work.

I was only parked dropped off or picking up my child from school

This department regularly receives calls with regards to the safety outside all local schools, requesting that we enforce to ensure that parents do park correctly and in consideration of pedestrians and other motorists’ health and safety. Civil Enforcement Officers patrol schools on a regular basis to ensure the safety of the children. It is not permitted to park for an extended length of time to drop a child to school, over and above the time required for a child to board or alight the vehicle, although event this is not permitted on a School Keep Clear marking. We would urge all parents to ensure that they arrive at school early enough to find a permitted parking place.

Challenges to parking fines are strictly made in writing, telephone challenges will not be accepted as by challenging the issue of a PCN you are entering into a legal process. You can make a challenge by writing to Parking Services P.O. Box 538, Barnsley, S70 9BP or by email to
Depending on available resource, responses to challenges can take up to 28 days.