10 tips to avoid a Penalty Charge Notice

large icon of a penalty charge notice on a car windscreen

  1. Watch for the signs
  2. Read the information on the pay and display machines
  3. Read instructions carefully
  4. Be careful with regards to bus lanes
  5. Leave bus stops for buses
  6. Park safely at schools
  7. Respect residential parking restrictions
  8. Understand what loading/unloading is
  9. Park within the bay markings
  10. Err on the side of caution and if in doubt contact us

1. Watch for the signs

There will be a sign on the street and lines on the road to show that there is a restriction. If there are no times shown on the sign then the restrictions apply all the time.

The sign will tell you who can park in the bay and between which times the restriction is enforced. Please ensure that you check the signs when you park to make sure that you are allowed to park there.

The sign will also tell you if there are any other things that you need to bear in mind, for example the maximum amount of time you can spend in a bay.

Please pay particular attention to suspended parking bays. They will be signed with a bright yellow triangular sign informing the motorist that the bay is suspended and that you should not park there. The suspension sign will be on the nearest available signpost, lamppost or tree. Suspensions take place on a daily basis in Brighton & Hove for events, skips and keeping space free for those moving home.


2. Read the pay and display machines

If you are in a rush it can be easy to forget to check the information on the pay and display machine. Please read all information before depositing coins and pressing the green button to get your ticket. Be sure to check:

  • the days and hours the restrictions apply
  • the cost of parking and whether there have been any changes in the charge
  • all of the coins have registered and that the correct expiry time is on the machine display
  • you have not overstayed the maximum time allowed as stated on the sign on the street

If you know that you are going to use pay and display then you should have the change ready. There is no grace period for going to the nearest shop to get this.

There is no grace period after your ticket has expired so please return to your vehicle before the expiry time printed on the ticket.


3. Read the instructions

Read instructions carefully and follow the conditions of use.

Visitor permits need to be validated. This means that all sections of the permit need to be completed.

Read the instructions carefully for using a resident permit and remember when your permit expires.

Read carefully the Blue Badge guidance issued so that you know you are parking in the right place.

If you are unsure please call us Monday - Thursday 9am - 5pm, Friday 9am - 4.30pm and we will be happy give you advice. The number to call is (01273) 296622.


4. Be careful with regard to bus lanes

Bus lanes are clear to see when you approach them as they are lined and sign posted.

Please always take notice of no left and right turn signs as these may lead into a bus lane.

Never totally rely on your satellite navigation system as these can often lead you into areas where there are restrictions on access. Make sure you look out for the signs and lines!


5. Leave bus stops for buses

Even a quick stop blocks the bus stop.

By parking in a bus stop you are causing a potential hazard for elderly and disabled passengers and inconvenience for other motorists when the bus is unable to pull into the stop.

If you park in a bus stop this means a Penalty Charge Notice could immediately be issued. We are now issuing postal PCNs, so a notice could be issued by post in this instance.


6. Park safely at schools

It is often the case that there is a 'no stopping' restriction outside a school. This ensures the safety of school children being dropped off and picked up. Areas located outside major entrance and exit doors must be kept clear to provide clear visibility for motorists and school children.

Drivers, including parents, should never double park to pick up or drop off children from their vehicles. This puts children at danger as they may have to cross the road nearby and might not be seen by other motorists.

We are now issuing postal PCNs, which could be issued in this instance even if you stop quickly. It is unsafe to park on a school keep clear and the aim of postal notices is to address the issue of short term dangerous parking.


7. Respect residential parking restrictions

In response to residents' concerns about parking we have established resident parking zones. These areas are clearly signed.

If a sign says permit holders this means that only those who have a permit can park here.

If you are visiting a resident and you have been issued with a visitor permit, complete it in full and you can park in the permit bays.

If you are visiting Brighton & Hove you can park in a pay and display bay.


8. Understand what loading and unloading means

Please see our web page for information about loading and unloading.


9. Park within the markings of a bay

Bays are clearly marked to allow enough room for most cars or vans.

If any part of your vehicle is parked outside the bay you could be blocking the road and causing a danger to other motorists. It can prevent other people from getting a parking space. Please park considerately.


10. Err on the side of caution and, if in doubt, contact us

If you are asking yourself  ''What do those signs mean?'' or ''Am I blocking another vehicle?'', find another space.

Parking Enforcement receives thousands of complaints each year from people affected by those who have made poor parking decisions.

If you have doubts about where you can or cannot park then please go to: further information about restrictions in Brighton & Hove.

You can call us on (01273) 296622, Monday - Thursday 9am - 5pm and Friday 9am - 4.30pm.

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