Parking enforcement and Civil Enforcement Officers

Staff who issue penalty charge notices are Council Officers, not Police Officers or Traffic Wardens. These staff are known as Civil Enforcement Officers.

Are Civil Enforcement Officers paid some kind of bonus for issuing as many Penalty Charge Notices as they can?

Definitely not. There is no incentive or bonus involved. All Civil Enforcement Officers are fully trained in how, when and why penalty charge notices can, and should, be issued. 

Parking enforcement  

If you park, wait or load where there are restrictions in force, you may be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) by Civil Enforcement Officers. In some areas, vehicles may be towed away.

Coventry is a Civil Enforcement authority and Coventry City Council is responsible for the enforcement of parking restrictions on streets throughout the city.

West Midlands Police may also take action at some locations such as pedestrian crossings where zig-zag markings are provided. The police are also responsible for enforcement where vehicles cause obstruction or a danger to road users even where there are no specific restrictions on parking.

Most restrictions are indicated by traffic signs and/or road markings but there are some circumstances where parking contraventions are not specifically signed

Parking - good practice

Parking on roads is often restricted to prevent traffic congestion or for safety reasons. It is important to observe and comply with restrictions which are shown with traffic signs and/or road markings. Parking may be permitted only at certain times usually due to the need to keep roads clear at peak traffic periods.

At some locations, especially those in or near town centres, parking may be allowed for limited durations. This helps customers to park reasonably close to shops for a short period.

Drivers also need to be aware of areas where parking is reserved for particular use, such as loading, blue badge holders or permit holders.

Safe and responsible parking

Where parking is not specifically prohibited, drivers must not assume that it is always appropriate to park. The absence of a restriction does not automatically mean that it is legal, safe, or reasonable to park. Always consider how your parking will affect other road users. Do not park where it would endanger, inconvenience, or obstruct pedestrians or other road users.

The Highway Code

Full details can be found in the Highway Code [] which states that:

You must not park:

  • where there are specific restrictions (eg yellow lines, clearways)
  • on a road with double white lines (in the middle of the road)
  • on a tram, bus, or cycle lane during its period of operation
  • on a cycle track
  • in parking spaces reserved for specific users, such as Blue Badge holders, residents, or motorcycles, unless entitled to do so
  • where your vehicle or trailer would be in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.

Do not stop or park:

  • near a school entrance
  • anywhere you would prevent or restrict access for Emergency Services
  • at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank
  • on the approach to a level crossing or tramway crossing
  • opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space
  • near the brow of a hill or hump bridge
  • Opposite or near to a traffic island
  • Opposite or near another parked vehicle or road works if this would cause an obstruction
  • where you would force other traffic to enter a tram lane
  • where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users, powered mobility vehicles and other non-motorised road users
  • in front of an entrance to a property
  • on a bend
  • where you would obstruct cyclists' use of cycle facilities.

Pavement parking

Parking on pavements may be dangerous as it can obstruct pedestrians and lead to people of all ages and abilities having to walk in the road. Those using or pushing wheelchairs or buggies may need the full width of the pavement to get past parked cars without having to negotiate kerbs to use the road.

Parking on pavements creates a hazard for blind and visually impaired people.

Dropped kerbs

Dropped kerbs are provided for many reasons including at driveways and other accesses as well as to assist pedestrians to cross the road and to enable wheelchairs and pushchairs to pass between footway to carriageway.

The Council may issue penalty charge notices to vehicles that are obstructing pedestrian crossing points including where there are no road markings. These consist of lowered kerbs or raised carriageway to create a smooth crossing. Tactile paving is also often provided to help blind and visually impaired people to know which direction to take.

Any part of a vehicle encroaching into the crossing area will create an obstruction. A vehicle does not have to be fully obstructing the crossing point area. A Civil Enforcement Officer can issue a Penalty Charge Notice if any part of the vehicle is obstructing the crossing area.

Parking offences

Parking offences are civil, not criminal offences. Parking enforcement forms a part of our plan to improve road safety and increase traffic flow on Coventry's roads and improve how the city looks.

Anyone who breaks the rules around parking can be fined (by way of a penalty charge notice).

Penalty charge notices for parking offences

The penalty charge is £70 for serious parking offences and £50 for less serious offences. The penalty charge will be reduced by 50% to either £35 or £25 if it is paid within 14 days.

If you receive a parking ticket, it will show an offence code. See the list of offences and associated codes [/downloads/download/1172/parking_offences].

Parking at our schools

Poor and inconsiderate parking close to schools can place children at risk. Most accidents involving children outside schools occur when a child has their sight obscured by parked cars. Parking restrictions and marked areas on the roads are there for a reason – to keep children safe. The safest option when dropping off or picking your kids up is to park away from the school and take a short walk to the gates.

If you MUST park near to school and space is limited, please follow the rules:

  • Do not park on zig-zag lines or keep clear markings
  • Do not park across dropped kerbs or drives
  • Do not park on footpaths
  • Do not stop to drop kids off in the centre of the road
  • Always abide by the restriction signs – park only in permitted areas
  • Please park safely and be considerate of children and residents by not causing an obstruction

Keeping our children and young people safe

It is hard for us to patrol school gates because we have a limited number of Traffic Wardens and there are a lot of schools. But we can now issue parking tickets using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. We are using a car fitted with an ANPR camera – like the one shown - to drive around the city to issue parking tickets to vehicles we see illegally parked.

People won’t know they have been issued with a ticket until they receive it in the post. But the car will be collecting photographic evidence of illegal parking and the fine will be £70.

How to pay your penalty charge notice (PCN)

There are several ways to pay a penalty charge notice - remember that the charge is lower for quicker payment.

If you have recently received a penalty charge notice, there may be a short delay, which can take up to 24 hours before the details are available on our online or telephone payment systems.

Pay online

You can pay online [/onlinepayments] using our secure payment facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a credit or debit card.

Pay a penalty charge notice [/onlinepayments]

Pay by phone

You can pay with a credit or debit card using our automated telephone hotline which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Telephone: 024 7678 7778 (you will need a touch dial telephone).

Pay in person

You can pay in person at our Customer Service Centre []

Lost penalty charge notice

If you have mislaid your penalty charge notice, if you know your car registration number, we can trace the ticket within our system. Please note, this only applies to payment by post or in person not online.

Help and advice regarding financial hardship

Money and debt advice [/costofliving]

How to dispute a parking penalty charge notice

If you wish to pay the 50 per cent reduced amount, then you must pay within 14 days of the date the PCN was issued. The full amount is due when the 14 day discount period has expired.

If you pay within 28 days of the date the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) was issued then no further action will be taken by Coventry City Council.

If you believe that the PCN you received should not have been issued, or that there are special reasons why it should be cancelled, the following notes explain how to dispute a PCN.

Dispute a Penalty Charge Notice

You can challenge a PCN within 28 days from the date of service if you feel that it has been wrongly issued.

If you need help deciding whether to challenge a Penalty Charge Notice

Both are available 24 hours.

The vehicle owner can dispute a PCN at three stages.

  1. Informal challenge [#Informal Challenge] 
  2. Formal representation [#Formal Representation] - by making a 'formal representation' once the Notice to Owner (NtO) has been served.
  3. Appeal [#Appeal] - If a formal representation is rejected, you can appeal to the independent parking adjudicator at Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

Informal challenge:

  • If you wish to make an informal challenge, you can do this online within 28 days of the date of the PCN:

Challenge a PCN online []

  • Informal challenges can also be made by sending us a letter within 28 days of the date of the PCN to Coventry City Council, Parking Services, P.O Box 15, Coventry, CV1 5RR. You will need to include your PCN number, your vehicle registration number and your address if you challenge by letter.
  • If we accept your challenge you will not be required to pay the PCN and we will write to you to confirm this.
  • If your informal challenge is received within 14 days of the PCN being served the penalty charge will be held at £25 or £35 until the challenge has been considered. If your challenge is unsuccessful you will be notified by letter and (i) you will then be given a further 14 days in which to pay the penalty charge at the reduced amount of £25 or £35, or (ii) you can proceed to the next stage of the formal appeal process. 

Formal representation:

  • If you do not make an informal challenge, or do not make payment within 28 days of the date of service of the PCN or within 14 days of a rejection of an informal challenge, the Council will issue a Notice to Owner (NtO) to the registered owner requesting payment of the full £50 or £70.
  • You may make a formal representation only after receiving a Notice to Owner.

Make a Formal Representation online []

  • The owner of the vehicle is responsible for payment of the penalty charge irrespective of who was driving the vehicle at the time the PCN was issued.
  • If you wish to make a formal representation you can do so by completing and returning the Notice to Owner (NtO).
  • If the Council rejects a Formal Representation, a Notice of Rejection of Representation will be sent to the owner requesting payment of £50 or £70 together with details of how to appeal to the adjudicator.

Appeal to the independent Parking Adjudicator (Traffic Penalty Tribunal):

  • You can appeal to the external independent adjudication service at Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
  • The relevant information will be included with the Council's Notice of Rejection of Representation.
  • If the Traffic Penalty Tribunal allows the appeal, the Council will be instructed to cancel the PCN. However, if Traffic Penalty Tribunal rejects the appeal, the full charge of either £50 or £70 will be payable.
  • For further information about the Traffic Penalty Tribunal please contact:
    • online: []
    • telephone: 01625 445555
    • by post: Traffic Penalty Tribunal, Springfield House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5BG

Remember if you wish to dispute a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) please:

  • Make an informal challenge within 14 days of the PCN being issued against the discounted rate of £25 or £35.
  • Remember, if your informal challenge is received between 14 days and 28 days of the PCN being served then the full charge of £50 or £70 will apply.
  • Make Formal Representations within 28 days of the date of the Notice to Owner.
  • Tell us as much as you can about your reasons for believing the ticket should be cancelled.
  • Provide us with any evidence you have to support your claim. 
  • Note, formal representations are considered at the full cost and not the discounted rate.

We are a member of the Parking And Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) Adjudication Joint Committee []. The Joint Committee publishes an Annual Statement of Accounts [] which is subject to external audit.

How to challenge a bus lane or bus gate penalty charge notice

If you believe that the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) you received should not have been issued, or that there are special reasons why it should be cancelled, the following notes explain how the appeal works.

If you wish to pay the 50 percent discount amount, then you must pay within 21 days of the date the ticket was issued. The full amount is due when the 21 day discount period has run out.

If you wish to accept liability and claim the reduced amount you must pay within 21 days.

Paying the penalty will close the case. However, we will consider any representations regardless of whether the penalty is paid.

Challenge a bus lane penalty charge notice []

Can I appeal a bus lane or bus gate fine?

Only the registered owner of the vehicle can appeal under one of the following categories:

  • the alleged contravention did not occur;
  • you have also received a fixed penalty notice from the Police for the same contravention (we will inform you which ticket will be upheld. Both cannot be pursued);
  • you were not the owner of the vehicle on the date the notice was issued;
  • you are the registered owner but a hire company;
  • the vehicle was under the control of a vehicle trader who signed a PCN accepting responsibility whilst the vehicle is in their control;
  • the vehicle was taken without consent;
  • the penalty charge exceeds the relevant amount;
  • other.

There are two stages of appeal

Stage 1: Representations

You may make a formal representation using your Bus Lane Penalty Charge as this is your Notice to Owner.

There are several grounds that allow you to do this and they are on the Notice to Owner.

We will review your case and:

  • If your representations are successful, we will cancel the fine and confirm this in writing to you.
  • If we reject your representations we will write to you to let you know the reasons why and let you know how to appeal to the independent adjudicator. If your representations were made within 21 days of the Date of Service on the PCN then we will give you a further 21 days from the date of our response letter to pay the reduced charge of £35. 

Make a representation against a bus lane and bus gate penalty charge notice []

Stage 2: Appeals to the independent adjudicators

Your case will be considered by an experienced lawyer who is not a part of the Council. You cannot appeal to the independent adjudicators until you have been told by the Council that your case has been rejected.

You may choose whether to attend the hearing in person or deal with it by post.

The Adjudicators’ decision is final and you and the Council must obey it.

You can find out more about the independent adjudicators by visiting the Traffic Penalty Tribunal website [].

If you wish to contest a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) please remember:

  • Make Representations within 28 days of the date of the Notice to Owner.
  • Tell us as much as you can about your reasons for believing the ticket should be cancelled.
  • Provide us with any evidence you have to support your claim. 

We are a member of the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) Adjudication Joint Committee []. The Joint Committee publishes an Annual Statement of Accounts [] which is subject to External Audit.

Penalty charge notices by post

We can issue penalty charge notices by post in several cases. These include:

  • when the vehicle has driven away before the enforcement officer has placed the penalty charge notice on the windscreen
  • if the enforcement officer has been prevented from issuing the penalty charge notice
  • if the offence is recorded by an approved device (camera).

The penalty charge notice will be sent to the registered keeper.

Charges - recovery process for penalty charge notices

When a Penalty Charge Notice is issued, you must either :

  • pay the charge within 28 days, or
  • let us know in writing why it should be cancelled (do this when you receive a Notice to Owner as below)

A 50 percent discount will be given if the charge is paid within 14 days or 21 days for PCNs issued via CCTV (Approved Device).

If the charge is not paid, a Notice to Owner will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle asking for the full amount of the charge.

If you receive a Notice to Owner you must either:

  • pay the full charge within 28 days, or
  • contact the council.

If you do nothing, a Charge Certificate will be sent and the charge increases by 50 percent.

If you receive a Charge Certificate you must pay the charge within 14 days. There is no right to appeal at this stage.

If you do not pay the charge, it is registered as a debt in the County Court and a court fee is added and a Notice of Debt Registration is sent.

Please remember:

  • Pay your penalty charge notice within 14 days, or 21 days for PCNs issued via CCTV (Approved Device), to receive the discount, 
  • Do not ignore any letters from us
  • If you wish to contact us to say why a ticket should be cancelled, do so within 28 days

Parking Services (enforcement)

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7683 4367 [tel:02476834367]

Bus lane enforcement and CCTV

New bus gate in Hales Street (Zone TS)

There is now a new bus gate at the junction of Hales Street and Burges.

The restrictions apply 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.

During this time only buses, taxis, bicycles and authorised vehicles are allowed to enter.

For further details visit our Zone TS webpage [].

Bus lanes

We operate a bus lane enforcement scheme to improve public transport reliability, journey times and to encourage sustainable travel. Bus lane signs and markings clearly indicate both the start and end of bus lanes and highlight the hours of operation. If there are no times indicated, then the bus lane is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When signed the only exemptions are;

  • a pedal cycle
  • a bus
  • wheelchair accessible taxis 
  • an emergency services vehicle when responding to an emergency

Bus lane enforcement

  • The enforcement of bus lanes is carried out by Fixed Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras which record all vehicles using the bus lanes.
  • After identifying those vehicles that are not allowed to use the bus lanes an evidence pack is assembled and a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is issued by post from Coventry City Council to the registered owner/hirer of the vehicle in contravention of the regulations.
  • For a bus lane contravention the charge is £70, reduced by 50% to £35 if paid within 21 days of the Date of Service*.
  • If the PCN remains unpaid within 28 days this charge is increased to £105.
  • If you believe that the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) you received should not have been issued you can challenge the penalty charge notice []

*applies to Bus Lane PCNs issued after 31 May 2022

Further information regarding bus lane enforcement. []

Bus gate locations

  • Gosford Street
  • Hales Street (live from 19 July 2023)
  • Sky Blue Way
  • Stoney Road
  • Tile Hill Lane
  • Warwick Road
  • Whittle Arch

Quinton Road/Park Road, which is currently suspended due to the building work around the station.

Bus gates at Park Road, Gosford Street and Warwick Road

If you were fined for using any of the three bus gates between 10 December 2015 and 21 April 2016, you can claim a refund by writing to us.  

Please email [] or write to Parking Services Team, PO Box 15, Coventry, CV1 5RR. Please include your name, address, registration number or PCN number, and how you paid your fine.

Bus lane suspensions

Coventry City Council has suspended a number of bus lanes in the city.

All bus lanes in Coventry operate 24 hours a day, except Hales Street junction with Burges (10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday)

The bus lanes that are suspended are: 

  • Herald Avenue (right onto A45)
  • Kirby Corner Road / Sir Henry Parkes Road
  • Radford Road (inbound)
  • The Butts (inbound)

Bus Lanes permanently removed/revoked

  • Ansty Road outbound at Clifford Bridge Road
  • Ansty Rd inbound at Burns Road
  • Binley Road
  • Foleshill Road/Old Church Road (inbound 95m and outbound 125m)
  • Foleshill Road (Broad Street to Junction 1 (Inbound and from Matlock Road outbound)
  • Holbrook Lane outbound
  • Lockhurst Lane (inbound)
  • London Road outbound St James Lane
  • Tile Hill Gyratory

Code of Practice for CCTV and Bus Lane Enforcement []

Protocol for Use of Bodycams []

Parking Services (Appeals and Permits)

Telephone: Monday to Friday 10am - 4pm

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7683 3400 [tel:02476833400]

Vehicle removals (tow away)

Vehicle Removals (Tow Away) – A Local Authority may by Notice restrict or temporarily prohibit the use of the road, or any part of it where it appears that it is necessary or expedient because works are due to be carried out on or near the road. During the work, all waiting on the highway will be prohibited and any vehicles that remain will be issued with a parking ticket which incurs a fine of £70 and may be removed or impounded. A Civil Enforcement Officer working on behalf of the Local Authority is empowered to authorise the removal of vehicles that are parked in contravention of a parking restriction. The vehicle owner will be liable for payment of the removal fee and daily storage fees, in addition to the penalty charge, before the vehicle is released from the pound.  

Some vehicle owners contravene parking regulations deliberately and often and fail to settle the debts they incur. Regulations made under legislation (the Traffic Management Act 2004) allow local authorities to remove vehicles (tow away) that belong to persistent evaders and vehicles that are parked where they are causing an obstruction/hazard to traffic. The benefit of removal is that it requires proof of ownership and a registered address before the vehicle is released. A vehicle owner can be classed as a ‘persistent evader’ if there are three or more recorded contraventions for the vehicle where the penalty charge notices (PCNs) have not been paid, represented against or appealed against within the statutory time limits, or their representations and appeals have been rejected but they have still not been paid. When a persistent evader is parked in contravention, it should be subject to the strongest possible enforcement by removing the vehicle to the pound.

The legislation also makes provision for the DVLA to devolve powers to Local Authorities and the Police to help tackle the problem of untaxed vehicles, by removing them to a storage compound.

Coventry City Council has adopted the powers to remove persistent evaders, obstructive/hazardous vehicles, and vehicles that are causing an obstruction to planned highway maintenance work.

Read the Cabinet Member Report []

Operational procedure []

Parking Services (enforcement)

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7683 4367 [tel:02476834367]