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£17M CONGESTION FINES UNPAID

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Mayor Ken Livingstone's Transport for London is owed nearly£17m because 140,000 drivers are refusing to pay road c...
Mayor Ken Livingstone's Transport for London is owed nearly£17m because 140,000 drivers are refusing to pay road congestion charge fines, according to The Mail on Sunday (p11).

Bailiffs are pursuing the motorists for non-payment of penalty charge notices since the road toll's launch in central London last Febuary. Each outstanding fine is worth£120 to the TfL authority, and insiders are said to be calling the shortfall a 'financial timebomb'.

About 1.2 million fines have been issued since February but one in five remains unpaid, though some of these are recent. However, many fines are being contested by drivers claiming they have been wrongly penalised. Fines start at£40 but rise to£80 if unpaid after 14 days and£120 after a month.

In July Mr Livingstone bailed out Capita, the company running the scheme, with£31m, claiming it was a victim of its success as too few people were entering central London and paying the£5 congestion charge. Then in October Capita was fined£1m for poor performance and TfL is seeking a replacement.

A TfL spokesman said: 'The level of penalty charge notices is within expectations. Around 70 to 75% of penalty charge notices have been paid'.
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