Does Google Maps Help You Avoid the London Congestion Charge?

Introduction

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanding soon, and if you regularly drive in the city, it’s important to be prepared. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has described the ULEZ expansion as a necessary step to combat the health and environmental issues caused by toxic air. With over 700,000 drivers potentially liable for the new fee, some borough councils have even launched legal challenges. In light of this, many people are wondering if popular map apps can help them avoid the ULEZ when planning their journeys. Let’s take a closer look.

Can Map Apps Help You Avoid the ULEZ?

Many drivers rely on route planning apps to navigate their way through the city. Thankfully, numerous apps offer features to alert motorists about tolls or even help them completely avoid the ULEZ.

Google Maps

Google Maps, one of the most popular route guidance tools, provides assistance for drivers navigating the ULEZ. If your journey destination is within the ULEZ, the app will notify you about the toll when you select your route. Additionally, the app includes a link to the Transport for London (TfL) website, where you can find more information about how the ULEZ may impact your vehicle. If your journey only passes through the ULEZ, Google Maps may suggest an alternative route that avoids the toll.

Available on: App Store and Play Store

Waze

Waze, another popular navigation app, has become a go-to choice for those seeking to navigate the ULEZ effectively. Since 2019, the app has allowed users to indicate whether their vehicle is ULEZ-compliant. With this information, Waze can provide alerts if your route will be affected by the ULEZ. The app previously collaborated with TfL on data sharing, and according to Finlay Clark, Waze’s UK country manager, the ULEZ-supported routing aims to reduce emissions and help drivers avoid fines and toll charges.

Available on: App Store and Play Store

Apple Maps

Apple Maps has been expanding its coverage to include Low Emissions Zones worldwide since 2020. Similar to Google Maps, Apple Maps allows users to toggle toll routes on or off when planning their journeys. However, it’s important to note that this app is only available for Apple users.

Congestion Zone App

Updated in January 2020 to reflect the ULEZ, the Congestion Zone App provides valuable information about the ULEZ charge and whether it applies to your location. This app is currently exclusive to Apple users.

TfL Pay to Drive in London

While many people use the TfL app to pay for services like the congestion charge or ULEZ, it’s worth mentioning that the app also features a map of the various zones. This map allows users to check if a postcode falls within a charging area. If you want to avoid the ULEZ altogether, this app is an authoritative source for determining if your destination is in a charging zone. It may even help you decide whether it’s worth parking your vehicle and continuing your journey by alternative means.

Available on: App Store and Play Store

Conclusion

If you’re concerned about navigating London’s ULEZ and want to avoid the congestion charge, there are several map apps available to assist you. Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, the Congestion Zone App, and the TfL app all offer features and information that can help you plan your route and avoid the ULEZ. By utilizing these tools, you can navigate the city more efficiently and make informed decisions about your journey.

Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to stay updated with the latest information from TfL and the official websites of the map apps for any changes or updates related to the ULEZ and congestion charge.

Note: This article provides general information about map apps and their ability to assist with avoiding the ULEZ. It is always recommended to refer to official sources and follow the rules and regulations set by the local authorities.