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Congestion Charge

Tuesday, 17 February 2004 Leave a comment Go to comments

A year ago today, Mayor Ken Livingstone put into place the Central London Congestion Charging Scheme. This was implemented in part to cut down on traffic congestion in the city centre and partially to fund improvements to the public transportation system. So, anyone wanting to drive in the central London area must pay a congestion charge of £5 per car, per day (Monday through Friday, 7AM to 6:30PM). Evenings and weekends are still free. The congestion charge zone is essentially all roads inside the Inner Ring Road. The charge can be pre-paid or paid before 10PM on the day. If it isn’t paid before 10PM, the charge goes up to £10 (to encourage prompt payment). Failure to pay by midnight incurs a fine. The charge can be paid online, in some shops, petrol stations and car parks, by post, by sms from your mobile phone, at kiosks within the charge zone or by phone.

The fortunate few who are exempt from charges include: moped and motorcycle riders, those with cars powered by electricity or alternative fuels, vehicles with more than nine seats, military vehicles, breakdown trucks, drivers with disability badges, taxis and reputable, recognised minicab drivers. Blue badge holders (handicapped) from within the European Union are also exempt from these charges provided that they have registered and make a one-off payment of £10.

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