Over 500 motorists ‘wrongly paying Congestion Charge’

Over 500 motorists ‘wrongly paying Congestion Charge’
With the streets regularly jammed with buses, taxis and commuters, driving in Central London can be stressful and expensive. 

The introduction of the Congestion Charge should have gone some way to alleviating this issue by persuading motorists to steer clear, but according to new research, 516 motorists unnecessarily paid the Congestion Charge over the past year.

The study surveyed over 2,000 motorists who had driven in London but do not live there and found that they alone forked out a total of £5,934 on Congestion Charge fees that they didn’t have to pay.

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In light of the confusion, it should come as no surprise that concerns over poor signposting of the Congestion Charge have been raised. Over half of those surveyed believe that it should be more obvious when you're about to enter the zone.

The survey by Fixter found that a staggering 78% of drivers had forgotten to pay the charge on time and been hit with the maximum £160 fine dished out to motorists who forget to pay.

READ MORE: Congestion Charge: a simple guide

Perhaps surprisingly, despite the lack of signage and the cost, most motorists are generally in favour of the Congestion Charge, with 82% believing it has made a positive impact on the city.

Over seven in 10 (71%) also think similar charges should be introduced in other UK cities, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh, although such plans are yet to be formally adopted.

Two-thirds of drivers even think the charge should be more expensive, with many believing that the fee should increase from its current price of £11.50 to £21.

What is the Congestion Charge?

The Congestion Charge is the fee levied on motorists driving through Central London between 07:00 and 18:00 during a normal Monday to Friday working week.

The charge was introduced back in February 2003, and since then researchers have found that nitrogen dioxide levels within the city have dropped by 54.8%, with a 12% drop in overall emissions.

SEE ALSO: Birmingham plans congestion charge by 2020

Since October 2017, some motorists in the Congestion Charge zone have also faced a further toxicity charge — the ‘T-Charge’ — which is levied on all pre-Euro 4 vehicles.

For more information on the new charge and whether your car will be eligible for the charge, check out our ultimate guide to London’s T-Charge.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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