Soon every Londoner will be owed £10 by embassies that dodge the Congestion Charge – Caroline Pidgeon

February 14, 2013 4:12 PM

The amount of unpaid Congestion Charge and penalty charge notices owed by embassies and diplomatic missions that evade paying the Congestion Charge now stands at £68 million according to new figures obtained from the Mayor by Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

In answer to a recent written question the Mayor has admitted that in mid January the level of unpaid Congestion Charge stood at £67.5 million. By the 10th anniversary of the Congestion Charge (17th February) the level of unpaid Congestion Charge will be around £68 million. By the end of this year every Londoner will be owed £10 by embassies that continue to dodge paying the Congestion Charge.

Commenting on the escalating bill owed by embassies and diplomatic missions Caroline Pidgeon said:

"Too many embassies are insulting their host city by evading a charge which everyone else - including even the Queen - has to pay if they wish to drive in central London."

"The Congestion Charge brings benefits from reduced congestion and it also funds transport projects.

"Under Boris Johnson the level of unpaid Congestion Charge has soared and soon each and every Londoner will be owed £10 by these embassies and diplomatic missions that dodge paying the charge.

"It is time the Mayor of London showed some real leadership on this issue, instead of his frequent excuses.

"Back in December 2009 the London Assembly called on Boris Johnson to write to every head of state which had an embassy in London that evaded the Congestion Charge. The Mayor should have then published online the responses he received. Yet the Mayor rejected these proposals and instead has allowed the unpaid Congestion Charge bill to soar."