PATROL and Traffic Penalty Tribunal

Stand 13 (Programme Partners)


PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London) represents 310 Local Authorities in England and Wales who undertake civil enforcement of parking, bus lanes and, in Wales, moving traffic. The main purpose of PATROL is to provide access to independent adjudication for appeals against penalty charge notices arising from enforcement. Adjudication is delivered through the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.

In addition to representing member authorities on a range of parking and traffic related issues, PATROL is also committed to improving public information and transparency about civil enforcement. The annual PATROL PARC Awards, launched in 2009, promote and share best practice amongst councils in the production of parking annual reports. PATROL has produced a toolkit to assist local authorities in producing reports and reporting on statistics and finance.

As well as promoting improved public information and transparency in local authority reporting through the production of annual reports, the PATROL Joint Committee has also supported the Traffic Penalty Tribunal in its drive for a more efficient and transparent appeal process through investment in the Tribunal’s online appeals portal, which has transformed the handling of appeals for all concerned. 

Traffic Penalty Tribunal

The Traffic Penalty Tribunal comprises adjudicators who decide appeals against penalties issued in England (outside London) and Wales for parking and bus lanes and, in Wales only, moving traffic contraventions.  The adjudicators also consider appeals against penalties issued for failing to pay a charge at the Dartford-Thurrock River crossing (Dart Charge) and the Mersey Gateway Bridge Crossings (Merseyflow).

The tribunal aims to be “user-focused, efficient, timely, helpful and readily accessible”.  Over the past decade the tribunal has transformed its appeal service for all users.  Process mapping, new technology and regular feedback has led to an improved customer experience, a more efficient service and cost savings.

The latest digital development was introduced in 2016/17. The FOAM (Fast Online Appeal Management) system, which is mobile optimised, has transformed the appeal process:

  • More than 80% of appeals are now dealt with online with the facility to message and comment on evidence.

  • Respondent authorities manage their cases through a bespoke dashboard

  • All parties see the same case details and evidence.

  • 87% of cases are decided online without a hearing.

  • 5% of cases are now closed within 24hours, two thirds are closed within four weeks.

FOAM has received a number of awards including: The North of England Excellence in Technology Award; the Intelligent Parking Award at the British Parking Awards and was a finalist for the National Transport Awards Excellence in Technology Award and Society of IT Managers in the Public Sector (SOCITM) Collaborative Working Award.  The tribunal’s approach to case management and the online system has also been heralded as an exemplar in the JUSTICE report “What is a Court?”

The tribunal is committed to Assisted Digital Support for people who cannot appeal online and has established a dedicated customer support team for this purpose.  The team reached the finals of the British Parking Awards’ Exceptional Customer Service Award.