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Box Junction Penalty Charge Appeal – Can You Win?

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Did you get a Box Junction Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) and feel unsure about what to do next? You’ve come to the right place. Each month, over 130,000 people visit our website to understand their fines and parking tickets.†Believe it or not, in 2021, Churchill Motor Insurance reported an 8% increase in penalty charge notices (PCNs) in Britain, with over 5.2 million issued.1

We know that receiving a PCN can be both annoying and puzzling. That’s why this article will help you grasp the following:

  • What a Box Junction Penalty Charge is, and why you might have got one.
  • Whether you must pay it straight away.
  • How you can fight the charge if you think it’s not right.
  • Instances where you may not need to pay.
  • What could happen if you decide not to pay.

We understand your situation and are here to support you. Let’s walk you through the facts.

What does a yellow box junction mean?

A yellow box junction generally means you shouldn’t enter the area unless you can clear the box without stopping.

We have all seen what happens when traffic bunches up at a junction, with people waiting for the smallest space to squeeze through to exit the junction. It ends up in a bottleneck with nobody willing to let people out and no room for a blocked vehicle to clear the junction.

A box junction helps with traffic management by ensuring that nobody enters the road junction unless the exit is clear and the full length of the vehicle will pass the box junction. Meaning they can’t stop and block the junction for people coming the other way.

Now let’s look at the rules for using a box junction more closely.

As laid out in the Highway Code, the yellow box junction regulations state that you should never enter a box junction unless your exit is clear.

You are not allowed to stop anywhere within the box junction. However, there is one exception to this rule. If you are waiting to turn right, and oncoming traffic that is also going to turn right is preventing you from doing this then you are allowed enter the box junction.

If the box junction is on a roundabout (with signals), you can enter the box junction as long as you can exit it without stopping. 

You can be issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for these offences, also called a yellow box PCN. This is a type of fine.

Most people who receive a penalty fine for a traffic offence related to a box junction are caught by automated traffic enforcement such as a traffic camera. Local authority regulations can and do differ, so the actual amount of the penalty can vary.

As an example, the cost of a box junction penalty in London, at the time this page was published, was £160. However, there is a quick payment incentive of a 50% reduction to just £80 if the penalty charge is settled within 14 days. This is pretty much average for box junction penalty charges across the country. You have to pay the penalty charge in full; you cannot pay in instalments.

Must You Pay a Box Junction Penalty Charge?

The fine is levied by a local authority, a Government organisation. It is a fully legal notice that you have to pay the fine or face additional legal consequences. You might be able to get out of paying the fine, but if you can’t, you will need to pay it. If you do not pay it, you could, eventually, end up with a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against you.

Additionally, if the local authority takes you to court to claim the fine, you could face a harsher penalty. Higher financial penalties or even penalty points on your licence are potential consequences of being taken to court. So either pay it or challenge it, don’t ignore it. Otherwise, you will likely face legal proceedings and need to engage a solicitor, etc.

Can the Penalty Charge Be Challenged?

Sometimes the PCN yellow box junction can be challenged, and so can PCNs for other offences.

For example, if you received a speeding fine more than 14 days after the camera spotted you. Or you might avoid a bus lane parking fine if you can prove that the bus lane had ended in the place you parked.

You may be able to successfully challenge a fine for a box junction offence in the same way. However, considering that you were probably spotted by a traffic camera stopped in a box junction, this might be pretty tough to do. The way I see it, you really need to be sure you have a good chance of proving your innocence before challenging the fine.

If you decide to appeal your box junction penalty charge, there are some important things to do as part of the traffic offence appeal process as soon as possible and certainly within 28 days.

  • Read the PCN notice you received very carefully, checking all the details. Make sure to check that the vehicle’s registration number, the incident’s location, and the date and time are all correct.
  • Even if the registration number is incorrect, meaning it wasn’t you in the box junction, you will still need to appeal.
  • Call your local authority and request a copy of any photo or video evidence. Evidence in traffic appeals is crucial to help your case.
  • Make sure you send any appeal directly to the correct local authority. Instructions will be included with the PCN for ‘making representations’ to the authority that issued it.
  • If this is rejected, you can then appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (outside of London). You will receive a pin code with this and clear instructions on furthering your appeal.
  • If this is also rejected, then make sure you pay the fine immediately.

To make the appeal process clearer and help you understand each step better, here’s a quick table you can review.

Should I Just Pay the Penalty?

This is a very good question and you should weigh up the cost-benefit analysis of doing so. Suppose you receive a fine for a box junction-related offence, and if you pay within 14 days, it would cost you just £80. Now let’s imagine that you decide to challenge the fine, and the process of doing so takes you half a day. 

Is that lost half a day really worth it to save £80? You may not win your challenge, meaning you would still need to pay the fine anyway. Sometimes, it is simpler and often cheaper just to pay the fine and be done with it.

That being said, if you believe you can successfully challenge the fine, you should try. The worst case is that your challenge is refuted, and you then have to pay the fine.

Will You Get Points on Your Licence for Stopping in a Yellow Box Junction?

No, you will not receive points on your driving license. Local authorities cannot add penalty points to driving licenses.

Get More Help

If you have been slapped with a box junction penalty charge, you now likely know why. You also know that you need to take action to either pay or challenge the fine.

However, you might find it useful to do some web research to find out whether other people have received such a fine and been able to challenge it successfully. And if so, how and why? You might find that you are in a similar situation and that you have a good chance if you challenge the fine.

Otherwise you could look into legal assistance for traffic offences for help with challenging your box junction penalty.


  1. Direct Line Group — Parking Fines Statistics


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Scott Nelson is a renowned debt expert who supports people in debt with debt management and debt solution resources.