Fleets have to sign up on or before January 26, 2003 to avoid paying the fee to register for two schemes designed to help fleets pay in bulk for vehicles to enter the zone. The details of the change have been released in a document titled 'Proposed Variations to Central London Congestion Charging'.
Livingstone is currently considering objections and representations and will make a decision at the end of December, or early in the New Year.
As part of the change in strategy, Transport for London will also waive the fee for fleets that have already registered their vehicles. Because the £10 charge is added to the first payment when the scheme starts on February 17, no company will have been out of pocket because of the change.
Insiders at TfL told Fleet NewsNet that firms had been slow to register, although a 'major 1,000-vehicle strong fleet' had just signed up.
Michelle Dix, director of congestion charging at TfL, said: 'Our call centre is contacting fleets at present. We are actively encouraging fleet registrations because we do not want to leave it until day one.'
In November Derek Turner, managing director of street management at TfT, wrote to 35,000 fleet operators to inform them of the two different bulk payment charging schemes for fleets.
Fleets can either provide TfL with a list of vehicle movement in and out of the zone each day of the month, which TfL then uses to create a bill, or they can make an upfront payment on expected journeys, and reconcile it at the end of the month, at a charge of £5.50 a day per vehicle.