Congestion charge at weekends

I just received a penalty notice for driving in the congestion charge area on a Sunday. Apparently they extended it to include weekends this June, and the miserable call centre guy told me this was ‘all over the news and internet’ so I ‘couldn’t possibly have missed it’.
Was anyone else aware of this? They should at least have put leaflets through doors for something like this.
I’m appealing it, but will be interested to find out if anyone else knew this was the case. Seems a dirty trick to me.

It was mentioned in the news a number of times about a month or so ago.

I remember when it was announced - not sure if any signage was put up - guess if you missed it when announced difficult to then pick up.

I’d say it was quite well marketed online and on various road advertising. The road signs would have also been changed overnight.

I would argue it wasn’t well advertised (and online I saw nothing - where would they advertise?).
I heard about it through friends

Congestion charge re-instatement (and extension to weekend and increase to £15) was one of the government’s conditions of the TfL bailout in May

Here the Evening Standard article

The extended congestion charge is really annoying but it was well covered in the news. I had to go in to the city a few Saturdays back, which is usually no bother but instead paid the charge ahead of time online and then drove in.

It’s a shame that the CC doesn’t operate on the same principle as the Dartford Crossing, where on the first missed payment you don’t have to pay a fine, just retrospectively pay the charge itself. That’s always seemed quite sensible to me.


Great suggestion yes, especially for the weekends… “you may not know we recently introduced weekend charging…” and a polite request to pay.


I’m not a driver so not affected by the congestion charge, but clearly remember hearing about the changes to include evenings, weekends and bank holidays. For me to hear about it then it must have been mentioned quite a lot on national and local TV & radio news and websites and/or newspaper websites.

Sounds like its a fair cop, as opposed to a bum rap

Good idea yes. And fair. I’m obviously just out of touch!

It has been well advertised in the news. It’s a terrible idea to have done this when ultimately London needs people to travelling and many are not comfortable going on trains. It’s also extended till 10 pm at night during the week which is killing the west end.

When you also factor in these “social distancing road closures” which are also camera controlled on some roads to issue an automatic fine plus turning bus lanes into cycle lanes you do have to wonder whether the mayor is trying to kill off London altogether.

It’s a fact of life that people will drive, I know we need to try and reduce this but they are going the wrong way about it and are killing businesses and causing far more pollution which will ultimately kill more people than would die from Covid.

My suggestion is you register your vehicle for automatic payment online then you simply don’t need to worry about it and get a statement every month


But doesn’t the automatic payment cost £10 to set up? I looked at this as also have it set up for dartmouth crossing which is great.
A couple of weeks ago I drove back through London on week day as big delay on M25. Missed a turning as got confused on my satnav and 85% certain ended up on congestion charge area for a minute whilst drove round block to leave. No way of finding out if had to pay or not. Either waited for fine which would be reduced to 50% so 80 quid if paid immediately or paid 15 on the day. Toss up of risking it or just paying the day rate. Which is 17.50 if paid after midnight.
My issue was I couldn’t easily see if I should pay it or not. Happy to pay as my mistake but as you say then otherwise full on fine. Seems should be allowed 1 slip up?

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Yes you do have to pay an annual fee - but I figured it was worth every penny rather than having to worry about it should I need an urgent dash into the zone and forget to pay.


Hi Jon, I see your single congestion charge penalty notice and raise you 2 more. I’m a new licence holder and driver in London having exchanged my Australian licence for a UK one recently and buying a car. Due to a backlog at DVLA due to covid, the V5C transfer took more than a month to arrive (with incorrect spelling, which is translated on the fine) and through that time I entered the Czone 3 times on weekends thinking there was no charge. The penalty charge notices were sent to the vehicles previous owner. So I had no idea anything was amiss until I received a nice surprise with three £160 fines this week. Like you, I was not aware of these changes, and not being a driver until the 22nd July had no idea the congestion zone times had changed a month earlier. Also, due to the delay in receiving the PCN I went through the zone on consecutive weekends. Had I have received the initial charge for the first weekend’s ‘contravention’ in reasonable time I would not have gone through the following weekend.
TFL phone personnel are entirely unhelpful with a ‘well you drove through, you need to pay’ attitude. I have no problems paying the 15 congestion charge, but it’s a significant amount for an oversight on my behalf confounded by very poor publicity about the change.


You should consider making an appeal to Road User Charging Adjudicators’ Tribunal. You mention enough things such that it sounds like you acted reasonably and in good faith and have been stung.


Wow yes, definitely worse than mine. Good luck appealing.

I have an issue with paying £10 per year, on top of the charge itself, for a computer to take money off me each time I enter the zone. Great idea yes, but there’s no actual labour involved is there? Just another con.

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Because computer systems are free? You’re paying for convenience

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