Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 4 August, 2021

Barack Obama's limo 'The Beast' hit with London congestion charge

The world’s most famous limousine has been beset by problems since arriving in Europe having been unable to negotiate a ramp outside the US embassy in Dublin on Monday.

'The Beast' being tended to by a secret service agent in London this week.
'The Beast' being tended to by a secret service agent in London this week.
Image: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

IT SEEMS BEING called ‘The Beast’ and transporting the US president to and from important engagements is not enough to keep you out of trouble, now Barack Obama’s limousine and presidential convoy has been hit with a London congestion charge.

BBC News reports that the US government has been issued with a congestion charge by Transport for London with London Mayor Boris Johnson saying that the motorcade was charged because roads were not closed during the visit.

Johnson also said that he and Obama exchanged “points of view” over the £5.2 million the US government owes in unpaid congestion charge bills. Although embassies are exempt from paying “direct taxes”, Johnson argues that the charge is not a tax.

He said:

Unlike the Pope where we didn’t charge the Popemobile because we closed the roads, when ‘The Beast’ rolled through London that Beast paid a congestion charge.

The US and other embassies including those of Russia, Japan and Germany refuse to pay the £10 per day congestion charge for driving through central London and whether or not the US will pay this particular £10 charge for ‘The Beast’ is unclear.

The Cadillac car with 10-inch bulletproof doors and the ability to allegedly withstand a direct missile hit has been mired with problems since arriving in Europe.

During Obama’s whistle-stop tour of Ireland, all its armoury could not prevent it getting stuck on a particularly high ramp whilst leaving the US embassy in Ballsbridge. Watch:

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next: