Frequently Asked Questions

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook48What is Free to Park?

Free to park is an SMS text based service, which allows the user to find totally free parking within walking distance of London tube stations.

How does the service work?

You text the word parking and the name of a tube station (no other words or punctuation) OUTSIDE THE CONGESTION CHARGING ZONE to 80039 and by return, you receive a text giving you the names of 3 roads with the postcode for each road.

The roads are all within an approximate 5 minute walk of the station, some slightly further, but all within a 10 minute distance. We only cover the stations outside the congestion charging zone, as there is minimal (if any) free parking within the zone, and at this point our service doesn’t extend to include the Dockland Light Railway line. We also feel that paying £8 to enter the zone defeats the object of free parking!

Where did you find this parking information? From a website or a map?

No, we spent many months personally visiting every tube station in London, and surveying all the available parking spots on public roads. We have been very thorough in our data collection; it was all carried out by us personally to a strict brief and we tested our system vigorously before we launched the service. We will be re-visiting every location regularly to make sure all our information is as up to date as possible, but the free to park website has a comment facility where users of our service can inform us of any parking changes in their locality.

What happens if there is no free parking close to the tube station I have asked for?

Not every station has free parking close by, so our database will automatically redirect you to the next closest station on the same tube line that has free parking in the vicinity of the station. The text you receive will give you 3 road names as before. We believe that parkers will be prepared to go further by tube on the same line, (as it only adds a few minutes to most journeys), to park for free, rather than endure the costs and stresses of driving into the centre of London.

How much does it cost?

Your phone is charged £1.50 (plus your regular network charge) for the text supplying 3 locations of free parking, therefore it’s 50p for the opportunity to park all day, with no worry about overrunning parking meter payments or paying the £8 congestion charge

Am I guaranteed a parking space?

Of course not. All the roads are public with no parking restrictions, so some cars are already parked there. However, we know from our numerous visits that it is almost always possible to find a parking space, and we are giving you 3 roads so you have alternatives when you arrive in the area. Our roads database is also randomised, so if 10 people all request parking near the same station they won’t all receive the same 3 roads. By doing this we can spread the free to park users through the whole area, allowing them better possibilities of find a space.

What happens if I text the name of a tube station within the congestion charging zone?

You will receive a message telling you that the station is in the congestion zone, and you will be invited to re-text another station name. In some cases we will relate congestion zone stations to the closest one outside the zone, so that you will still receive a free parking location. It is advisable that you consult the London Underground tube map or our list of  congestion zone stations so you get the best possible result from our service. Here is a list of all tube stations within the congestion charging zone. You only pay your standard network charge for the error text.

What happens if I text the name of a Docklands Light Railway station?

You will receive a message telling you that the station is a DLR station, and you will be invited to re-text another station name. You will only pay your standard network charge for the error text. We will however, be adding the DLR stations, or relating them to the nearest tube station with parking in the next update of our service.

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