We made a decision in 2000 not to allow payment of penalty charge notices (PCNs) by instalment for the following reasons:
- The cost of administering the system: officers spent a disproportionate amount of time arranging instalments plans, monitoring payments and chasing late payments
- Many customers who had been allowed instalment plans failed to adhere to them
- Only short term instalments could be allowed to keep within the statutory PCN timescales
This decision was reviewed in January 2013 and the Council decided to continue not to allow payment of PCNs by instalment for the following reasons:
- The legislation under which parking enforcement is undertaken, the Traffic Management Act 2004, clearly states that in order for a case to be closed, full payment must be made within certain timescales. This legislation does not provide the motorist with the opportunity to settle a case over any period of time other than that stated within the legislation. It is the Council's experience that those seeking instalment plans wish to do so over a longer period than could be allowed under this Act.
- Payment arrangements could not be allowed during the discounted period as legislation states that the discounted period only lasts for 14 days.
- A PCN is a penalty issued to deter motorists from parking in contravention of the traffic regulations. The deterrent may be compromised if small repayments, or long term payment arrangements, are accepted in settlement of such notices.
- The introduction of such a system would necessitate the recruitment of additional officers to set-up, monitor the payment agreements and ensure customers were making payments as and when agreed. Additional officers would be required to administer the entire system.
- At a time when local authorities are facing budget cuts and looking to make further efficiency savings, the provision of legislative services has to be prioritised over non-legislative services.