Contact the Evening Standard about the London Congestion Charge

 by Martin Belam, 23 February 2003

The Evening Standard, London's evening newspaper, has provided an email address, to contact them about Londons congestion charge. I suggest you email them with your positive experiences, like I have done.

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your in-depth coverage of the introduction of the London Congestion Charge over the last week, and I am delighted that you have provided an opportunity for the people of London to write and explain their experiences of the Congestion Charge.

I work right in the middle of the Congestion Charge zone, at the junction between Kingsway and Holborn, directly above Holborn station. On the first day of the charge I was dismayed to find that on my journey to work the Piccadilly line was suspended, so instead of changing at Finsbury Park I remained on the Victoria line and alighted at Euston. I then got the 91 bus down to Holborn. I have to say I was dreading the journey, as it can take any length of time between 20 to 35 minutes, and it can often be quicker to walk. Imagine my surprise when the journey took less than 10 minutes, and I still managed to get to work on time.

I was even more surprised at lunchtime. You may be aware there are currently road works at the Kingsway / Holborn junction, which has severely restricted pedestrian access to the crossing between Holborn station and the Sainsbury's on the corner opposite. At lunchtime I was astonished to be able to walk across the road when the red man was showing, when the previous week it was difficult to cross the junction when even the green man was showing. I used to pick my way through cars, vans, taxis and buses that had never understood what a box junction meant, and on several occasions I was sworn at by drivers who did not understand that the green man symbol at a road junction meant the pedestrian had right of way.

I very much look forward to reporters like Isabel Oakeshott and David Williams on your paper covering the experiences of Londoners like me in the same depth that you covered the experiences of Fitzgerald Johnson, Stephan Toth, and Lisa Kattenhorn on Friday.

all the best,
Martin Belam


I am not sure if you are the right person to contact, but if I drive into Congestion zone I pay £5 however, if on the same day I renter the zone so I pay another £5. Please let me know. Thank you.

I'm not directly involved with it, but you only have to pay once per day, regardless of how many times you cross in and out of the zone.

Even though I have paid the annual congestion charge (and have copy cheque and letter from my bank to show encashment on 6 Feb) I have, to date, received SIXTEEN penalty notices. I keep sending my registration number and copy cheque every time but no one is listening to me and I keep getting the notices. Does anyone else have this problem? How do I solve it?

I live in Portugal and whilst in London on Monday I saw a Mobile congestion charge van with cameras on the roof parked on a yellow line in St. James square. If that was not enough but why do they and as it happens the police have to buy Mercedes vans. Surley a transit or soething made in UK should be used for this purpose.

During my stay I also saw several VW police vans and a police BMW 325 estate in Croydon. How many rovers have the German police purchased in the past 5 years I wonder.

Is there anbody else that has a problem with the posting of penalty charge notices from Transport for London.

There penalty charge letters demanding payment within 14 days always seem take over a week to arrive. WHY ?

Do they post these demands with time restrictions on the day they are written?

Are they operating a policy of delaying letters in order to increase fines.


They have told me its the Post office but i do not believe them.WOULD YOU

I had a hire car and used it to get to work on 3 occasions. I paid the charge, using my customer number but made the mistake of not changing the registration from my car (which was off the road) to the hire car I was using. That was in October. Can I get them to understand I made a simple mistake, even though I've made hundreds of phone calls, emails and sent a huge pack of documents with receipt numbers etc and explanation. They keep saying they turned down my appeal but I never even got the right to make a representation. On top of that, the car hire firm debited my Visa card for three times £85, their administration fee. They refuse to return this money until I can prove the charge was paid - but Capita in Coventry are so idiotic that it seems I shall just have to let it go to court and plead my case with the judge. I'm hoping the judge will be a sensible person with some common sense, something totally lacking with the Capita people, no wonder they got sent to Coventry!

I volunteered to drop two elderly friends at Waterloo station before 7am. Being elderly, I couldn't rush them too much, and left the congestion zone at exactly 07:01:27. It cost me £40. What happened to the short period of grace that traffic wardens used to give you? Or has that disappeared too.

I am concerned with the proposed extension of the congestion charge zone into my area, Earls Court. It is proposed that it will apply from the Earls Court Road towards the East, I live on the Earls Court Road itself, but on the west side of it and my question is do I qualify for the 90% discount?
Does anyone know?

I have just come back from Paris where I saw a team of 3 armed police patrolling around the centre on rollerblades. I also saw a tri-police bicycle protrol. Ditto in New Orleans several years ago. Why not institute this practice in London and thus further reduce congestion?

I run a distribution business wth Vans entering the charging zones on a daily basis , and as such fully support any measures that make life easier for our drivers.

However we are becoming increasingly concerned that we are being unnecessarily penalised for errors which whils't humans are involved , are virtually unavoidable.

For example , a driver swopping vehicles and paying for the wrong van , routes changes at the last minute , drivers and staff simply forgetting , all of which result in a fine of 40 Pounds .

Surely , if the technology is there to identify the vehicle , and as transport for london already has our business credit card details , why cannot the software simply check if we have paid , and if not then debit our account . Voila , end of problem

London and the rest of the UK are screaming out for Police officers, And with the increased threat of terrorism we now need them more than anything.

So why is it taking upto 2 years from Interview to even get a position in a training school.

Could it be that the Met Have cut the police training budget, resulting in a reduction of class size, in some cases up to 50%

Where is all of our Tax money going to Ken ?

Full marks to your reporters for reigning in Westminster's parking wardens according to your paper yesterday.Perhaps you could now turn your attention to Camden Council and balance the scales in this borough

I am having to attend court for an unpaid Congestion Charge, I have telephoned there office several times to ask if they could send another bill to the business were I work.

This never happened and now I am facing court action! Any advice?

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