London was the world’s first big city to introduce a congestion charge, with the aim of cutting down the busy traffic in the center.
The idea was to make drivers think twice about entering London, by slapping them with a daily charge.
An up-to-date map of the congestion zone area is found at tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge.
Its northern edge currently runs along the Marylebone Road, Euston Road and Pentonville Road. Its western boundary runs down the Edgware Road and Park Lane. Its eastern edge runs along City Road, Great Eastern Street, Commercial Street, Mansell Street and Tower Bridge Road. Its southern edge runs along Vauxhall Bridge Road, Kennington Lane and New Kent Road.
You know that you are entering the congestion charge zone when you pass a street sign or painted circle on the road. It looks like a large white ‘C’ inside a red circle. It doesn’t matter how long you spend inside the zone – once the traffic camera has snapped your number plate then you will have to pay a fee.
|Weekdays, between 7 AM and 6 PM|
|Weekdays, between 6 PM and 7 AM|
You can pay up to 90 days in advance, or on the day of travel. If you forget and pay the next day, then they’ll charge an extra couple of pounds on top.
Online payment is taken at the Transport for London website.
Telephone payment can be done by phoning 0343 222 2222 – but you have to set up an account first.
Payment by sending them a text message is also possible, but you have to set up an account first.