Foreign diplomats 'owe £50m fines'

New figures have shown that £50 million is owed to Transport for London in the form of congestion charge fines by foreign officials visiting the capital.

The worst offenders when it came to unpaid London congestion charge fines were officials from the US, who racked up over £5 million for 45,005 fines between February 2003 and January 2011.

Other countries with very high unpaid congestion charge bills include Russia, Japan, Germany and Nigeria.

Over £100,000 is owed toTransport for London by Antigua and Barbuda.

Foreign dignitaries also appear to have difficulties in abiding by parking regulations while visiting London.

In 2010, over 5,000 parking tickets - amounting to almost £500,000 - were issued to staff from foreign countries.

The Chinese notched up 257 fines costing over £27,000, while Afghanistan had 245 unpaid parking bills.

Some foreign staff with diplomatic immunity were also found driving under the influence of alcohol, with figures showing that eight such offences were recorded in 2010, three by officials from Saudi Arabia.

Copyright © Press Association 2011