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Avoiding London Congestion Charge


Mr Motivator
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I've had a big google session but can't find the answers I need. Maybe you guys know?

I'm driving into London tomorrow and Friday getting into the centre of London for 9am. Now, the place I'm going to is JUST outside of the charge zone according to the government website, but I think I'll have to drive through congestion charged zones to get there. Do I still have to pay?

Also, how does it know you have not paid? Is it all by traffic wardens? As I'll be parking in a private car park hidden away. Is it done by numberplate recognition camers as you drive around?

I really don't want to pay 16 quid for driving to one place in london for two days.

Also, my two rear tyres are below the legal limit, can a traffic warden do me for this? I've got new rubber but I can't fit them till Monday.

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It's done by the number plate recognition cameras, so you're basically guaranteed to get spotted. There's quite a few ways of skinning a cat though, and depending on where you actually want to be you should be able to skirt around the C-charge zone.

Traffic wardens can't do you for bored tyres, but the plenty of bored police people in London can...

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If you go in and out of London frequently then register your car as a mini-cab. It costs like £27 a year (plus an initial registration fee) and you can come and go as you please.

£27/yr vs £8/day…

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Hopefully I'll be ok then. I'll be armed with an old TomTom so if I see a big C I'll go around it and let satnav reroute.

I know I'm taking a risk with the tyres but I don't really have a choice at the moment. Front tyres have uber tread so I'll park outwards with the front wheels turned showing off lots of front tread :P

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I know this is a very vague post when you want help, but I just had a quick shufty on google maps around london with directions and it tells you in the directions when you will be entering and leaving the congestion zone, so that might give you a feel for how easy it's gonna be to avoid :)

It would be cool if google had a feature where you could specify to stay out of that zone

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Cheers guys. I'll let you know tomorrow!

Just seen on AA route planner you can choose to avoid toll/congestion charge routes.

You wont incur congestion charges with the route suggested by google. I quite regularly drive across central london to visit friends, come in on the A40, take the A3220 straight through kensington and across battersea or vauxhall bridge without any problems. To the best of my knowledge the congestion charging is only north of the river, if youre unsure just dont turn into any roads that have the congestion charging sign on them (its a circular sign with white C on a red background or vice versa, I forget).

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It was ok. Missed it all.

Although the off street parking was a fail so I had to leave it on the road without a permit. I went back 4 hours later to check for a ticket and the traffic warden was walking up to my car and had just stopped infront of it. I pressed unlock on the fob while running towards it and got in. I asked him if I was too late and he said no I have to wait five mins before I can give you a ticket. That was lucky.

So I sped off and parked illegally somewhere else hidden.

I was doing some temp work for a food prep company. What a load of shit. They're all foreign too. Language barrier really winding me up. Lots of shouting louder till they get it.

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You can always specify on your tomtom to avoid the congestion charge.

Also remember just because someone's ability to speak english isn't as good as yours (as a native to england) it doesn't mean they're ignorant. Shouting will only imply your ignorance which is probably why foreigners start nodding at shouting english people, purely to pacify them, and then probably and rightfully then insult you in their language.

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Also remember just because someone's ability to speak english isn't as good as yours (as a native to england) it doesn't mean they're ignorant. Shouting will only imply your ignorance which is probably why foreigners start nodding at shouting english people, purely to pacify them, and then probably and rightfully then insult you in their language.

If I go to another country without being able to have at least a basic grasp of their language, I feel ignorant as f**k.

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If I go to another country without being able to have at least a basic grasp of their language, I feel ignorant as f**k.

I bet you still do it though! Also its slightly different why for instance you might go to another country, as opposed to why many foreigners come here. No one really wants to leave their home, imagine if it was your only opportunity for some sort of civilized life.....you'd be on the first boat out whether or not you knew the native tongue. It's an attempt at survival. Also its very easy to have views of, well i wouldn't do this, do that - they're lazy, ignorant etc from our privileged perspective.

It's all too easy to just whine and moan about foreigners from such a narrow and uninformed point of view. Most of the most interesting, insightful and intelligent conversations i've had in this country have been with people not born or native to here.

Plenty of jobs in thier own country though.

They don't know the meaning of a tea break either.

I've never considered myself racist. You don't know till u work with them.

I have worked with many foreigners in this country and always without exception they were far more interesting and intelligent people to be around than their english counterparts. Maybe try associating with them or getting to understand why they're here etc rather than just judging them from afar, and things might be a lot easier.

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I bet you still do it though! Also its slightly different why for instance you might go to another country, as opposed to why many foreigners come here. No one really wants to leave their home, imagine if it was your only opportunity for some sort of civilized life.....you'd be on the first boat out whether or not you knew the native tongue. It's an attempt at survival. Also its very easy to have views of, well i wouldn't do this, do that - they're lazy, ignorant etc from our privileged perspective.

It's all too easy to just whine and moan about foreigners from such a narrow and uninformed point of view. Most of the most interesting, insightful and intelligent conversations i've had in this country have been with people not born or native to here.

Yer i do, I'm not trying to start the whole 'f**k the polish taking our jobs' thing here, I'm completely against that an agree with you entirely. Just the one bit i disagreed with that it does make you slightly ignorant if you're in someone else's country without having a grasp of their language. Whether you're ignorant cos of you're own fault or being forced to move their, you're still ignorant to their language.

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Yeah i know what you mean, but i think it's very rarely the case. Most foreigners do learn some English, often many speak it better than ourselves. Like Mark said, timeframe can come in to. A forced departure from one's company may not give you time to brush up on your pronouns perhaps?

Also, personally i love hearing how other nationalities speak English, all of the strange ways of pronunciation and phrasing make it a very interesting mix. Also as English people we are by far and away the worst nation for understanding of languages. So so many foreigners can speak english where most of us only know our mother tongue - i think thats equally ignorant. When i travelled abroad i was lucky as most people i met i could converse with as they could speak English a hell of a lot better than my poor attempts at their various languages. I did try in every country however to attempt using their language but often they just responded in English, but the effort was appreciated.

I don't even think its down to understanding of language, sometimes it can be down to accents. Sometimes when speaking to native Indian people speaking English i find it very difficult to understand what they're saying. The words are there but the pronunciation is so off it makes it very difficult. But to me this is no worse than speaking to someone with a strong uk regional accent.

It's different for everyone, but i live in central London so i'm surrounded daily with such a variety of accents i often don't hear English at all so i'm used to it. If you lived somewhere more 'Uk-based people' only it might come across as more of a shock? Also my girlfriends family are Italian, so i f**king love all the different accent i come across.

Despite my long rants and moans i've genuinely never found much of an issue with understanding different cultures, it all adds to the mix and makes life fun - i strongly support a multi-cultural way of life, where would we be without it? Eating potatoes and gravy every night?

Edited by Matthew62
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