Congestion Charge SignI was so tired today on the train out of London that I had to read Metro just to keep myself awake. I normally avoid the horrid free rag produced by the Daily Mail group, but I actually came across something interesting in it today. Ken Livingstone is having a mighty battle to make embassies in London pay the Congestion Charge – have a look at this from the BBC. The United Arab Emirates has now paid a bill of almost £100000 but the USA is still refusing to pay, claiming diplomatic immunity! What a damned cheek! This is surely not what the special relationship is supposed to entail. They use the roads in London like everyone else – they have no excuse not to pay up. Ken Livingstone is pursuing them, and good luck to him!

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the clarification… This will probably end up in court one way or another – fingers crossed they have to pay up.

  2. Under the relevant international agreements, embassies are exempt from paying all local taxes. The embassies say this is a tax, the Mayor of London says it isn’t. It mirrors a similar row a couple of years ago about foreign missions to the UN in New York not paying their parking fines.

  3. Daniela

    I’m confused Jon! What is a congestion tax? And why don’t embassies pay it?

  4. It’s a charge of £8 to drive a car into central London at peak hours – effectively to reduce traffic and allow buses to run on time. It’s controlled by cameras though, not by barriers – that’s why the embassies keep on driving in and it’s hard to pursue them legally. Details of the scheme can be found here

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *