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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Our car parks offer free parking after 2.00pm. This does not include Durham City Park and Ride, Hardwick Park, Wharton Park and Riverside Park (South Ropery Lane, North Ropery Lane and the Donald Owen Clark car parks) and car parks that we do not own.

Challenge a parking fine

What you need to do to challenge a parking fine.

Other ways to challenge are listed on the back of your parking fine.

Any photographic evidence we have will be available.

The registered owner/keeper of the vehicle (or the person who has hired it) is responsible for paying the fine, regardless of whether they were the driver at the time.


  • can contain any mitigating circumstances (see below)
  • should include any evidence that may support your case eg pay and display tickets, invoices, photographs
  • are considered on their individual merits

Mitigating circumstances

Any reasons you give for the fine being cancelled will be considered. If you do not tell us about any reasons at this point, you may lose your chance to refer the case to the Independent Adjudicator later. Here are some examples of possible reasons (for guidance only):

Mitigating circumstance

Our guidance

Pay and Display ticket machine was out of order.

The fine may be cancelled (waived) if there are ticket machine records confirming a malfunction and no other working machine was available for use within the street.

I was delayed due to an emergency.

The fine may be cancelled if  supporting evidence from a doctor / emergency service is provided.

Blue badge was accidentally displayed incorrectly.

If a valid badge is produced the fine may be cancelled. However, this decision may be taken into account should another fine be issued for the same reason.

I was ill and couldn't return to my car in time.

The fine may be cancelled if appropriate supporting evidence from a doctor provided.

My car broke down.

The fine may be cancelled if evidence (breakdown recovery call-out sheet and garage/purchase parts invoice) is provided.

Resident's visitor's permit (scratchcard) completed incorrectly. 

If photographic evidence shows a minor omission the fine may be cancelled. However, this decision may be taken into account should another fine be issued for the same reason.

Snow, leaves, etc covered the road markings and/or signage when I parked. 

If photographic evidence shows this, the fine may be cancelled.

Letting you know the result

Decisions are normally made within 10 working days. You will be informed if the fine has been cancelled.

If a challenge is received within 14 days of the PCN being issued, and is rejected, the 50% payment rate period may be reset. If it is received later than 14 days, the reduced rate is unlikely to be reset.

What happens if you don't pay

If you don't pay your parking fine, and haven't successfully challenged the PCN, we can go through a series of processes to get the money from you. Find out more information about What happens if you do not pay a parking fine.

    Contact us
    Parking Services
    03000 263 985
    Our address is:
    • P.O. Box 568
    • Durham
    • County Durham
    • United Kingdom
    • DH1 9GP