The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wants the U.S. embassy to cover the costs the president’s motorcade has racked up driving through the city’s downtown core. The U.K. capital has special traffic congestion fines for vehicles caught on the roads without the proper permission, and Obama’s limo (aka “The Beast”) falls in the group, as do the rest of the vehicles in his motorcade.
In addition to these fines, Johnson wants the U.S. embassy to pay up on past fines of this sort, which now total the astronomical sum of $8.7 million.
The U.S embassy claims it is immune to paying the charge because it is technically a tax, which should be reserved for UK residents alone. The mayor spoke to the President during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace explaining that the Presidential fleet would not be receiving special treatment.
“The presidential motorcade is subject to the congestion charge,” said a London transport official in a statement. “Any vehicle, regardless of where it is registered, which is identified within the congestion charging zone during the hours of operation without a valid charge, discount or exemption may be subject to a penalty.”
The U.S. Embassy remains insistent it will not pay the fines, including the fee for ‘The Beast’ and the rest of the President’s motorcade.
[Source: Daily Mail]