Congestion charging payments problem

MQT on 2009-11-18
Session date: 
November 18, 2009
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In the days following IBM's takeover of the Congestion Charging contract from Capita, motorists experienced problems getting through on the phone line and there have also been problems accessing the online payment accounts. Since the IBM contract is no doubt intended to improve service levels, why has this not been the case ?


Answer for Congestion charging payments problem

Answer for Congestion charging payments problem

Answered By: 
The Mayor

IBM is providing a completely new and more efficient system for running Congestion Charging and the Low Emission Zone. IBM has successfully run a Congestion Charging scheme in Stockholm since 2007 and so brings a wealth of experience in operating road user charging schemes.

The new IBM system in London will enable CC Auto Pay to be introduced. This is an automated account payment system that is planned to be in place in December 2010, and will make it easier for customers to pay their charge as well as remove the risk of registered customers receiving a Penalty Charge. As well as providing an improved service for customers, the IBM contract delivers £200 million savings for TfL.

The transition involved the migration of all data from Capita to three new IBM systems and the re-location of the main operation to two new offices in Coventry. Whilst, the transition was successful, and the service to motorists was maintained throughout the cut-over weekend and the first week of the new operation, I understand that there were some isolated system issues that led to longer call queues. These issues were resolved through the initial days of the new service. Staffing has been increased, including in the back office to work through discount applications, which have been impacted by the recent postal strike. As a result of the action taken, customer service levels are continuing to improve.