Grounds of Appeal – Merseyflow charge at Mersey Gateway Bridge Crossings

Below are the only grounds (reasons) on which an adjudicator can instruct the charging authority (Halton Borough Council) to cancel a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

Don’t worry if you don’t know which ground applies, the adjudicator can decide if a particular ground applies.

It may be that none of these grounds apply to your case. If so and if there is another compelling reason, the adjudicator may recommend that the charging authority cancel the PCN. The authority must then consider the recommendation and make a formal response.

You were not the registered keeper of the vehicle when the alleged contravention occurred

For example:

  • You have never been the registered keeper
  • you had ceased to be the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time of the alleged contravention
  • you became the registered keeper after the time of the alleged contravention


The vehicle was taken without the owner’s consent

This ground covers stolen vehicles and vehicles used without the owner’s consent. It could apply, for example, to a vehicle taken by ‘joyriders’. It does not generally apply to vehicles in the care of a garage or borrowed by a relative or friend. If possible, you should supply a crime reference number from the police.


The owner is a vehicle hire firm


• the vehicle was on hire under a qualifying hiring agreement, and

• the hirer had signed a statement of liability for any penalty charge notice issued during the hire period.

The road user charge was paid on time and as required

The road user charge should be paid either in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.

The penalty exceeded the amount that applied in the circumstances

This means the authority have asked for more than they are entitled to under the relevant regulations. This is £40.

There has been a procedural impropriety by the charging authority

This means the charging authority have not complied with the relevant regulations. For example:

  • the penalty charge notice or another document did not give the required information
  • the charging authority did not respond to a challenge or responded too late.

Compelling reasons

If the adjudicator agrees that you have compelling reasons why the penalty should not be paid, they may make a recommendation to the charging authority that they cancel the penalty. If the charging authority choose not to do this they must explain why.

The adjudicator cannot cancel a penalty based on compelling reasons.