The One London Group at the London Assembly have warned the planned expansion of London’s Congestion Charge may lead to a “major revolt” against the charge by foreign embassies.
One London’s Leader Damian Hockney said his party believes “that when the zone is extended, a number of countries whose embassies fall within the enlarged zone will join countries like the USA, Germany and South Africa who already do not pay.”
Mr Hockney said London Mayor Ken Livingstone had shied away from seeking a legal ruling to decide if the congestion charge is a tax, which embassies would be exempt from paying, or a charge for a service they were obliged to pay.
Hockney said the Mr Livingstone and Transport for London “routinely bluster and make threats, but they never take the obvious step of applying for a high court judgment on the issue” which he said would clear the matter up once and for all.
The One London leader said the Mayor’s reluctance to pursue this option suggested he knew a court ruling would “go against him.”