Two days ago I had a meeting in central London, on Park Lane. This meant driving in from Queen’s Park which is in Northish London and into the £8 a day Congestion Zone.
Now it’s fairly well known that there is one road that goes right through the Congestion Zone which you don’t have to pay for – this is a north-south route taking in Edgware Road, Park Lane, down through Victoria to Vauxhall Bridge. This is deliberate by the Government and is there to allow people a way to get from North to South London or vice-versa without having to go round the congestion zone. So long as you stay on that road, don’t veer off in any direction, you’re fine.
What I discovered though (and this is the brilliant bit) is that the underground Car Park on Park Lane, the one underneath Hyde Park and opposite the Dorcester Hotel is not in the congestion zone. There are no cameras on the approaches and the car park attendants confirmed this. So rather than using the north-south route as a through-way, you can use it to get to this Car Park, park your car and wander off into Central London without paying the charge. Providing of course you exit in the same way up or down the north-south route.
The Park Lane car park is actually superbly situated for many parts of Central London including Oxford Street, Piccadilly, Mayfair and Hyde Park itself and compared to many of the parking options in London is actually quite reasonable – £6 for 2 hours.
I’m going to be parking there much more often!