Drivers in the UK owe a staggering $270 million in congestion charge fees, according to Transport for London. Surprisingly enough, that figure comes even as the number of those attempting to avoid paying the fines has declined. In 2010, 52,103 drivers skipped out on paying, while that figure plopped down to 33,684 in 2011. Transport for London says a "significant" amount of the owed money can be chalked up to diplomatic missions that refuse to pay up. Authorities in the UK have begun pursuing offending countries through the International Court of Justice.

Then there are the private individuals who continue to hold out. Transport for London has sent out around 200,000 letters over the past three years warning delinquent drivers of the legal ramifications they could face for refusing to pay. The organization has the power to send bailiffs to collect the funds.

Despite the hefty amount of owed cash, Transport for London says it is satisfied both with the fine system and the protocols for non payment.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      KAG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like London is double and even triple taxing people for using there cars. People pay there car taxes then have to pay to drive into a city, sounds like legal robbery to me.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @KAG
        if you've ever dealt with London traffic, you'll know just how improved things have become when driving in the centre of the capital since the congestion charge was introduced. Remember that while the US has some 22 times the length of road network that the UK does, it only has between seven and eight times as many cars.
          BranMM
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Also, if your car is in the VED tax band A, you pay no "road tax", which means no Congestion Charge either.
      Jérôme de S
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please make this come to NYC!!!
      mikecalabrese
      • 2 Years Ago
      The article does not really explain what a congestion charge is.
        Bobby_Sards
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikecalabrese
        bah go google!
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikecalabrese
        From Wikipedia: The London congestion charge is a fee charged on most motor vehicles operating within the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) in central London between 07:00 and 18:00 (Monday-Friday only). The charge, which was introduced on 17 February 2003, remains one of the largest congestion zones in the world despite the cancellation of the Western Extension which operated between February 2007 and January 2011. The charge aims to reduce congestion, and to raise investment funds for London's transport system. The standard charge is £10 for each day, for each non-exempt vehicle that travels within the zone with a penalty of between £60 and £187 levied for non-payment. Enforcement is primarily based on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). Transport for London (TfL) is responsible for the charge which has been operated by IBM since 1 November 2009.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dreadcthulhu01
          Its a charge to prevent gridlock. The fact of the matter is you don't need to use a car in central London. It's far quicker, easier and cheaper to use the tube.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dreadcthulhu01
          So basically its a tax on gridlock?
      Just Stuff
      • 2 Years Ago
      Makes you wonder if the UK Mission here in the states pays all their fines and tickets, probably not.
      GasMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      So London has effectively eliminated average law-abiding citizens from visiting the city center since they can't afford the tolls. The scofflaws and politically connected just do what they want and don't pay. When you outlaw roads, only the outlaws will use the roads.
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GasMan
        The vast majority of Londoners use public transport instead - especially the tube. Its quicker, easier, and cheaper. If people in London had to rely on the motor car, the cost of congestion would practically strangle London's economy. Back in the 1990s before the charge was brought in, I recall spending three hours to get from Westminster to a point 20 miles north on an ordinary Tuesday afternoon. And traffic levels since then have risen by almost 20%.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          London simply needs to get the logistics better when it comes to enforecement of payments; remember, the congestion charge zone isn't small and the area is like a rabbit warren. But the article doesn't state how much of the congestion charge IS paid.
          GasMan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          I understand that and I actually favor congestion traffic pricing. I just want it to be applied to everyone equally.
      • 2 Years Ago
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        • 2 Years Ago
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        Florg
        • 2 Years Ago
        'We aim to reduce congestion and in doing so we will either bring in a large towing truck to collect your car or we will make sure that you are unable to move your car if you have not paid.'
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 2 Years Ago
        Because diplomats have diplomatic immunity, and can't be messed with like that, without causing an international incident. The US, Russia, Germany, and other countries argue that the congestion charge is a tax, which per the Vienna convention diplomatic missions can not be charged, while the London government claims it is a toll, which diplomats can be charged.
          Brian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @dreadcthulhu01
          Sounds more like a penalty than a tax to me :)
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
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