I’ve recently been caught out by the congestion charge scam in London. Unaware of the Congestion Charge zones, I went through a charge area without realising. I am (thankfully) not a local, I don’t live in London so I don’t know who or how to pay.
I did some research online and figured out that I needed to start an account on the CClondon.com site, so I did that. I then reached a “pay now” area with no mention of the cost I am expected to pay, so I phoned up. After speaking to 2 phone operators, I discover I already owe a fine of £60 for a congested and tedious drive through central London! This less than a week after my offence!
Apparently my fine is in the post, so they can find my address from my number plate, but they won’t send me a reminder or bill through the post, just the fine. I wonder why?
Perhaps because they rely on visitors not savvy to the underhand way of charging users. Users might conceivably wait for something to come through the post. This is just legalised extortion. Unsurprisingly others agree too:
A fly in a spider’s web has more chance of escape than someone caught by the congestion charge. If you live outside London and are not familiar with the way the scheme operates, then avoid driving into the city. There are no toll booths, no clear warning signs, no information for innocent visiting strangers, just cameras. Not like speed cameras, painted yellow which are more often than not preceded by roadsigns with pictures of a camera or even large worded warning signsForum post on Consumer Action Group
Overall it’s a system that’s been designed to extract as much money as possible from the public to prop up the Mayors coffers. Clearly this will prompt the locals to use the already overburdened public transport system in London, which is already overcrowded and filthy.
I was advised to send a “representation”, but as the scam scheme is designed to ensnare visitors, I see no reason for the Transport for London team to revoke my fine. This is what they want to happen, this is how the system was intended to be. (And I did have to pay the full £60, no warnings or slap on the wrist.)
It is merely a money making scheme that will cause chaos and confusion during the Olympics. As if dressing up the barren wasteland of Stratford as some world leading facility wasn’t enough of a scam already! Seb Coe hasn’t warned anyone about this scam because it’s all part of the Olympic games money generating scam for the CCLondon website.
Whom do we complain if the government themselves are corrupt?