There are new plans for the Congestion Charge in the pipe-line. The proposed changes include the introduction of a new Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED), an increase in the penalty charge and the removal of the under-used retail (shop) payment channel.
The introduction of the proposed Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED) would take place in July 2013 and provide a single 100 per cent discount from the Congestion Charge for electric and ultra low emission cars and vans
To qualify for the discount vehicles will have to be either pure electric or be cars and vans that emit 75g/km or less of CO2 and meet the Euro 5 emission standard for air quality.
Cars delivering guests to the Le Meridien Grosvenor House Hotel (where suites cost up to £1,187 per night) and the Dorchester Hotel will be able to use the hotels' main entrances on Park Lane for nothing. Delivery vehicles using the loading bays round the back will have to pay the £5 charge.
While the system cost around £160m to set up in2002, it generates significant revenue every year, which is invested inimproving the transport network. In 2011/12 Congestion Charging raised around£137 million to be spent on other transport initiatives within London.
Three thousand motorists a day fail to pay theLondon congestion charge - generating an estimated £1m a week in fines.Offenders are automatically sent a Penalty Charge Notice demanding. £120, witha 50% discount for prompt payment.
Foreign diplomats are among the worst serialoffenders. Around a third of embassies in London refuse to recognise thecharge.
Since the introduction of the C-Charge in February 2003, an estimated £67m in unpaid charges is owed by foreign governments. America is the biggest offender.
This weekend the Congestion Charge in London will be 10 years old. There were objections when it was introduced and new figures from the AA suggest that 10 years on it still divides opinion. Of those surveyed, 45 per cent said they supported it, but 41 per cent opposed it.