Tag and Beacon

Meeting: 
Plenary on 2006-12-06
Session date: 
December 6, 2006
Reference: 
2006/0424
Question By: 
Roger Evans
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

Question

Can you provide an update on the detailed research TfL are undertaking on new forms of enforcing the congestion charge, in particular technologies like tag and beacon? What other technologies have you considered, and can you detail their benefits and costs?

Answer

Answer for Tag and Beacon

Answer for Tag and Beacon

Answered By: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

TfL's technology trials programme has tested options for tag and beacon and satellite-enabled distance-based charging. The Stage 2 report for these tests is available on the TfL website.

The key conclusions are that charging in London using tag and beacon is technically feasible, subject to the resolution of a number of specific design issues. Fitting a tag linked to a payment account would be an option that would result in a more convenient way of paying for customers. Cameras will remain necessary to provide enforcement evidence for vehicles without a tag that fail to pay the charge

Satellite-based charging is not currently appropriate for use in central London because the urban skyline obscures the satellite signals and in many parts of London it is not possible to gain an accurate position fix, which could lead to billing errors (although coverage is improving in London and it is expected that the European Galileo satellite project will further improve it from around 2010). 

Added to that, the cost of supplying and installing satellite positioning units in vehicles is still high at around £200-300.