Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [2]

Session date: 
June 24, 2004
Question By: 
Lynne Featherstone
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

It was very interesting that your manifesto came so late on, but then I was not surprised to find most of Simon Hughes' (Liberal Democrat Party Mayoral candidate) good ideas in there in terms of Congestion Charging. However, the one you missed was actually a very important one for Londoners. There are 165,000 penalty notices a month, and I am sure there are not 165,000 people trying to avoid the charge because many just forget. Therefore, will you take up Simon's other idea of allowing people a further 26 hours until midnight the following day to pay the charge if they have forgotten? People are only human and I doubt you would want to upset the goodwill of those of us who have supported the Congestion Charge.

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [2]

Answer for Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [2]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

We are all just making our own guesses. I do not see there is an easy way of testing this. The fear I share with most of my senior colleagues at TfL is that if you allow payment on the next day, there will be a rapid increase in the number of people who say they will decide to delay payment until the next day and then forget and thus more people will receive a penalty charge for forgetting to pay. The only thing that holds us back from that is that I think there will be more victims of the system because I know it would happen to me and with all the pressure of rushing about I would be likely to forget if I had decided to delay payment until the following day. I think that is the weakness, and until someone can demonstrate to me that this will reduce the numbers of penalty notices issued I am not inclined to go down that route. All of us can make up our mind about what we think the balance is on this, but I suspect that given the pressures of daily life in London you will get more people forgetting to pay if they have longer.