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Changes to PCNs due to technical error

A Clean Air Zone road sign on a busy road in Sheffield

Sheffield City Council is aware of a technical error which has resulted in around 4,700 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) being issued to motorists with the incorrect time printed on the document.

The journeys impacted are those that were made into the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) from Sunday 26 March 2023 to Thursday 6 April 2023, and one additional case on 12th April. No other PCNs issued by the Council are affected.

The technical error occurred at a third-party supplier level when the clocks went forward from Greenwich Mean Time into British Summer Time.

The Council is now in the process of refunding all paid PCNs with the incorrect timestamp. For those who have already paid their PCN, the Council will retain the cost of the CAZ charge and refund the outstanding amount.

Those who have outstanding PCNs will have a new PCN issued but will be given the option to pay just the CAZ charge within 13 days, rather than both the CAZ charge and the PCN charge. The PCN charge will be applied if motorists do not take up the offer, or submit an appeal, within the 13 days.

Those who drove within the CAZ during this 10-day period, and paid their CAZ charge, are not impacted.

Unless they receive a letter, motorists should deal with any outstanding PCNs they have received as usual.

Cllr Joe Otten, Chair of Waste and Street Scene Committee, said: “We were disappointed to learn this technical error and staff from our third-party suppliers and the Council and have been working to rectify the issue. Affected drivers will be contacted by letter this week, outlining next steps. I urge motorists to keep an eye out for their letter so we can ensure this situation is resolved for everyone as soon as possible. To facilitate this process and manage enquiries we have set up a dedicated phone line and email address. These contact details will be included in the letters. We want to take this opportunity to apologise to all those that are impacted and for the inconvenience associated with this issue.”

Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said: "With up to 1 in 20 people dying from the effects of dirty air, we’re committed to combatting the dangerous Nitrogen Dioxide levels in our city and to achieve that we need a CAZ which runs effectively. While this issue is extremely disappointing, and we had anticipated some teething issues, we have been assured this error has been rectified and we will be closely monitoring the CAZ PCN systems going forward. We share the frustration we know those affected will feel with this.