Transport for London (TFL) is set to review five areas of the charging scheme, including a proposal to increase penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued to drivers. Plans to increase penalties include reduced rate PCNs from £40 to £50, full PCNs from £80 to £100 and clamping fees from £45 to £65.
A TfL spokesman said: 'The consultation will discuss a proposal to increase the cost on congestion charge PCNs to bring them in line with other penalty charges in central London, such as parking and bus lane enforcement, and to increase compliance.'
However, smaller fleets could benefit from one of the proposed changes. TfL wants to reduce the fleet scheme vehicle threshold from 25 to 10 vehicles.
This would mean smaller fleets would be able to pre-register vehicles on the TfL system, reducing administration and the liability for penalties.
TfL also wants to improve payment options by adding American Express and Diners' Club to its list of accepted credit cards and revise the eligibility criteria for the residents' 90% discount.
Under the new proposals, residents' vehicles would need to be registered at an address within the congestion charge zone.
Michele Dix, director of congestion charging, said: 'This consultation allows those with an interest in congestion charging to express their views on these proposals. All representations will be considered by the Mayor before a final decision is made.'
The consultation began last week and is expected to run for 10 weeks. The London congestion charge was introduced in February 2002 amid a wave of controversy and industry pundits are predicting a national scheme by 2010.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) commissioned research last year on the effects that a national congestion-charging scheme could have if it were introduced on roads throughout England in 2010. It showed that that it would make no sense to introduce congestion charging on a revenue-neutral basis as suggested by some experts (Fleet NewsNet, October 16 2003).
|Proposed penalty notice rise|
|Proposed charge||Current charge|
|Reduced rate PCN:||£50||£40|
|Full rate PCN:||£100||£80|
|Increased rate PCN:||£150||£120|
|Vehicle removal fee:||£150||£125|
|Storage charge 24hrs:||£25||£15|