London drivers have been warned to take extra care when paying their congestion charge to avoid spending more than they need to. An unofficial website which appears on search engines is charging £6 more to pay the fee than if drivers went direct to TFL.
The company running the website says it offers a special service to customers but critics say it's misleading users and leaving them out of pocket. Our Political Correspondent Simon Harris investigates.
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Cars to lose the discount if the changes go ahead:
Audi A3 1.6TDI
Citroën C3 1.6HDi
Citroën DS3 1.6HDi
Fiat Punto Evo 1.3 16V Multijet
Ford Fiesta ECOnetic 1.6TDCI Duratorq
Ford Focus ECOnetic 1.6 TDCI Duratorq
Hyundai i10 1.0SOHC
Mini One D
Mini Cooper D
SEAT Leon 1.6TDI
SEAT Ibiza ST 1.2TDI
Skoda Fabia hatchback and estate 1.2TDI
Smart Fortwo CDI Coupé and Cabrio
Smart ForTwo Coupé and Cabrio
Toyota Auris T4 and T Spirit
Toyota Prius T3, T4 and T Spirit
Toyota IQ 1.0 VVT-i
Vauxhall Corsa 1.3TDI
Volvo S40 DRIVe
Volvo V50 DRIVe
Volvo C30 DRIVe
Volkswagen Polo 1.2TDI
Volkswagen Golf 1.6TDI
A consultation on the proposals is taking place. Nick Fairholme, TfL’s director for congestion charging, said: “I want to encourage as many people as possible to submit their views on these proposed changes.”
The consultation closes on February 8. Let Transport for London know your views here.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “We do have real concerns about ‘green goalposts’ being moved after drivers and businesses have invested in low-emission hybrid and diesel vehicles. We need to encourage the take-up of a range of greener vehicles.”
· 70,000 motorists enter London's congestion zone each day
· 2,500 qualify for TfL's Greener Vehicle Discount
· Vehicles must emit less than 100g/km of carbon dioxide
· TfL want tougher rules, reducing the limit to 75g co2/km
· This would rule out all current hybrid and diesel vehicles
David Bizley, the RAC’s technical director,said: “The 75g/km limit is pretty much beyond any current conventional diesel or gasoline vehicle. You really need some sort of plug-in hybrid to qualify.”
Transport for London wants to tighten rules around congestion charge exemption in order to raise the revenue netted by the £10 charge.
The Toyota Prius - a "hybrid" vehicle which runs on both petrol and an electric engine, two-seater petrol and diesel Smart cars and the petrol Fiat 500 are among more than 50 “green” models that will no longer be exempt.
Boris Johnson needs to rubber stamp the proposals to bring them into force in July. It's thought it will raise an extra £1-2 million for Transport for London.
Boris Johnson calls on Obama to pay the US embassy's outstanding £7m congestion charge bill.