US Embassy London has highest unpaid congestion fines bill

- Posted in America by Visa Bureauon 16 February 2011

More than 150 embassies have outstanding penalty charge notices dating back up to eight years, with the US Embassy London owing the most - £4.9 million on more than 45,000 notices since the charge was introduced in 2003.

Diplomats insist the charge is a tax, rather than a charge for a service, and therefore they have immunity, however Mayor Boris Johnson insisted he would pursue the debts. Negotiations have seen some embassies start to pay.

Russia has the next highest bill with £4.3 million, followed by Japan on £3.5 million, and Germany with £3.4 million.

TfL said: "The charge is for a service and is not a tax. This means that diplomats are not exempt from paying it. Three quarters of embassies in London do pay it, but a stubborn minority refuse to do so."

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