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Congestion Charge Update!

Moresauce Jan 14, 2003

  1. Moresauce

    Moresauce Member

    Pay day for congestion charge
    Motorists started registering for the congestion charge at 1,400 stores in London on Monday.
    Over-the-counter payments were taken at newsagents and petrol stations using existing Pay Point machines - also used to pay council tax and rent.

    Payment by text messaging, over the internet and by machines in central London car parks also began.

    Congestion charging, which will see motorists pay a £5 fee to drive into central London, is being introduced on 17 February.

    " There have been no customers at all in querying the charge whatsoever. "
    Jay Rasul

    But at the last count only around 3,000 households had registered at all.

    Transport for London (TfL) is hoping registration will now begin in earnest and said business had been "quite brisk" on Monday.

    But at the Costcutter in Spitalfields, east London, two hours went by without any customers asking about the congestion charge.

    Some said it was too early to pay, some planned to drive in earlier and others were anticipating a mass non-payment, describing the charge as the new Poll Tax.

    Shopkeeper Jay Rasul said there was some confusion about the charge.


    He said: "As a distributor, I have not been completely informed about the congestion charge.

    "There have been no customers at all in querying the charge whatsoever."

    Some motorists may be hoping for a last-minute reprieve in the High Court.

    Solicitors Class Law believe they have a case under the Human Rights Act for having the charge declared unlawful, if they can prove the consultation process was flawed.

    Partner Stephen Alexander said for some low-paid workers there was no alternative to driving in and so the charge was like a tax.

    "Every other tax we have in this country recognises the ability of the taxpayer to pay - this one does not," he said.

    Public service unions have also asked the mayor to delay the charge to assess the impact on public services.

    Alice Dawnay, UNISON's London nursing officer, said the charge was likely to cost their average member £1,200 a year and fears resignations will follow.

    But TfL is confident the charge will be introduced on 17 February as scheduled.

    A previous High Court challenge brought by Westminster Council, which claimed there had not been a full and efficient consultation, was thrown out last July.
  2. gtdog

    gtdog Member

    You get the idea that the programme makers are going to load the dice? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
  3. audi_girl

    audi_girl Active Member

    Did anybody get a chance to see this as I missed it??

    I live not far from London, and have to admit I have no idea when the charges are introduced or really how to pay for them.... only what I have heard from friends - nothing official. No flyers or adverts or anything around my way....
  4. Moresauce

    Moresauce Member

    In summary, the tax will be collected in the following manner:

    Congestion charging will apply between 7am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
    The boundary of the congestion charging zone will be the 'Inner Ring Road' - linking Euston Road, Pentonville Road, City Road, Commercial Street, Mansell Street, Tower Bridge, Elephant and Castle, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Park Lane and Marylebone Road.
    Drivers do not have to pay £5 every time they cross the boundary of the congestion charging zone. If they have paid the charge for the day of their journey, they will be able to drive in and out of the zone as many times as they like during that day.
    There are no tollbooths or gantries; instead a network of cameras capable of reading registration numbers monitors the eight square miles of the charged zone.
    If motorists enter the zone or leave a car parked in the zone during charging hours they have until midnight to pay.
    If you pay between 10pm and midnight you have to pay a surcharge of £5.
    If you don't pay by midnight, you'll incur a penalty charge of £80 (reduced to £40 if paid within 14 days).
    Payment will be taken via the Transport for London website, in newsagents and at some self service machines. A text messaging system will also be implemented.
    Motorists who don't pay the charge within 28 calendar days will incur a penalty of £120. If the penalty is not paid, TfL has the authority to clamp and remove the vehicle or, ultimately, use bailiffs to recover any debts.
    So, make sure your number plates are clean, that no debris has accumulated on the front of your car and that you don't accidentally go to work in a taxi or ambulance. If you've got two cars, don't accidentally leave one within the zone before charging starts either...
  5. Moresauce

    Moresauce Member

    TFL GET AD CENSORED Wednesday 19th February

    Transport for London get knuckles rapped

    The promotion of the new Congestion Charging scheme has drawn criticism from the Advertising Standards Agency.

    A complaint was registered with the organisation in relation to the advert which claimed that all the monies raised would be spent on transport.

    The ASA ruled that the advert was misleading as a lot of the money raised is being spent on administration of the scheme and not reinvested in transport as claimed.
  6. Moresauce

    Moresauce Member

    C charge flaws exposed
    By Chris Millar, Evening Standard
    20 February 2003
    Thousands of motorists may have been wrongly sent congestion charge fines because of flaws with the scheme's spy vans.

    An Evening Standard investigation into the surveillance units found evidence of a system plagued with problems.

    These seem certain to be the cause of a proportion of the 15,000 fines issued for the first two days of the scheme.

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    An undercover reporter worked in one of Transport for London's (TfL) surveillance vans patrolling Ken Livingstone's charging zone for three weeks. He discovered:

    * As many as four in every 10 registration plates were misread;

    * Sophisticated cameras were foxed by muddy number plates and bright sunshine;

    * Vans customised at a cost of £80,000 each were woefully unprepared with many awaiting repairs as the scheme was launched;

    * Two days before the scheme's introduction, every van was crippled by computer failures caused by last-minute software "improvements".

    TfL have always admitted there were likely to be teething troubles with the introduction of such an elaborate scheme. But our findings will still cause concern at the potential scale of mistakes being made.

    The vans, which are equipped with an 18ft mast bearingtwo cameras and an internal array of computers and monitors, are intended to detect motorists who have managed to evade the fixed cameras monitoring the zone and have not paid the £5 daily fee.

    Although the congestion scheme got off to a smooth start, the investigation is bound to add to fears that drivers could wrongly receive £80 fines through the post.

    The first fines were landing on doormats today. The rest are expected to arrive by the weekend.

    Rebecca Rees, from the AA, warned that the Evening Standard's findings could undermine confidence in the charging scheme. She said: "We were promised that the equipment was high-tech enough to be able to give accurate readings."

    Capita, the company with the task of implementing the charge, has said it is confident such problems will be ironed out.

    The group today reported a 36 per cent jump in annual profits to £98.2 million. A spokesman for TfL said: "We have calculated that if you drive in the zone without paying the £5 charge on three days per week you have a 10,000 to one chance of getting away with it."

    Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, said it was important that the scheme is running smoothly quickly: "We were already surprised at the number of drivers who have tried to evade paying the charge. A total of 15,000 motorists in the first two days is extremely high.

    "If people believe they may not be caught by the system, it will probably add to the number attempting not to pay up."
  7. Adam

    Adam Member

    I don't actually obnject to the congestion charge at all - for most people this no need to drive into central London and if the charge puts some off and reduces cars and pollution then so be it. The only thing I have against it is the exemptions should be extended to cover a few other groups eg shift workers eg NHS who can't get a tube/bus in because of the time but leave during the day

    out of interest moresauce - whereabouts in London do you live? has it affected you badly?
  8. Moresauce

    Moresauce Member

    That is the point I don't live in London but do stay there very regularly and park my car in a private car park at a members only club, therefore what bit of London do I congest? I'm driving in to spend time and money in the city and they are charging me for the privilege!

    The principle is a fair one but it should be 7am until 11am then 4pm until 6.30pm then tourists and freeloaders like me can go in and enjoy the day shopping etc. Now I park my car outside various friends houses in Fulham etc. and get a cab or Tube and has the tube is currently down to 80% capacity that is a nightmare!
    A very close friend of my has an office off Park Lane just outside the zone and says the traffice down his little side street has doubled. I think the next few months will be a true test.

    Can all London members tell us they CC stories and thoughts
  9. A4Steve

    A4Steve Guest

    I fecking love it /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    No traffic, 7 minutes to work. Bewdy mate /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
  10. Adam

    Adam Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    Moresauce said:
    park my car in a private car park at a members only club

    [/ QUOTE ]

    no system is going to be perfect but I think the concept is fine - tax those wealthy/stupid enough to drive into a congested, polluted city rather than use public trasnport and invest the tax revenues to improve the services - no offence intended but your private car park in a members club seems to suggest you can afford the £5

    how have you caused congestion? - well unless your A3 teleports into your private members club I assume you drove through the streets to get there? therefore your car caused congestion like any other

    and surely paying a fiver is easier than paying for a more expensive cab from Fulham? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
  11. Dazza

    Dazza Member

    I must admit it's made things a lot easier for me.
    Usually it would take me atleast an hour and a half to get from the city to the Windsor meet, leaving the city at 6pm. Last night it only took me 1 hour. Traffic along the embankment was about half what I would normally expect. Only took me 35 mins to get to Hammersmith - would be usually an hour.
    Ok so it cost me a fiver - big deal.
  12. A4Steve

    A4Steve Guest

    I'm with Daz on this one.

    I am perfectly prepared to pay a fiver to get around more easily. In fact I did yesterday, and today.

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