This snapshot, taken on
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.

Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Congestion charging

One way of reducing traffic congestion is to charge drivers directly for road use. Central London and Durham already have road charging schemes in place and other towns and cities are considering introducing them.

The central London Congestion Charge

How the central London Congestion Charge works

The central London Congestion Charge (LCC) is run by Transport for London (TfL). It operates Monday to Friday between 7.00 am and 6.00 pm, excluding public holidays.

The daily charge is:

  • £10 if you pay before midnight on the day you travel
  • £12 if you pay before midnight the following charging day – using the call centre or website only
  • £9 if you're registered for the automated payment system Congestion Charging Auto Pay

The charging zone

The charging zone covers central London. You're no longer charged for driving in the 'western extension'.

The charging zone is clearly marked, and there are road signs on all roads approaching and leaving the zone. The TfL website has details of the area covered and the times at which the charge applies.

 Penalty charges

The penalty for not paying the LCC is £120, but this is reduced to £60 if you pay within 14 days. If you do not pay the penalty charge within 28 days, it is increased to £180.

Discounts and exemptions

Not all drivers have to pay the LCC. There are discounts and exemptions for certain people and types of vehicle. You may be entitled to a discount or exemption if you:

  • are a Blue Badge holder
  • live within the congestion charging zone
  • drive an alternative fuel or electronically propelled vehicle
  • drive a vehicle with nine or more seats
  • drive a roadside recovery vehicle
  • represent an accredited breakdown organisation

Discounts and exemptions are not automatic. You need to register with TfL in order to get them.

Applying for a refund

If you pay for an annual LCC in advance and then sell your vehicle, you can claim a refund for the days you haven't used.

Durham road user charge scheme

Durham introduced a road user charging scheme in 2001 to control traffic in the streets of the Durham peninsula.

The £2 charge operates between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm, Monday to Saturday. Drivers must pay the charge at the payment machine before leaving the area. The payment machine also accepts exemption permits for residents, public transport and emergency vehicles.

Disabled drivers can reserve a permit in advance by contacting the NCP Parking shop on 0191 384 6633, provided they have pre-arranged a parking space.

The penalty for failing to pay the charge is £30.

Further details can be found on the Durham County Council website.

Additional links

Simpler, Clearer, Faster

Try GOV.UK now

From 17 October, GOV.UK will be the best place to find government services and information

Access keys