TfL Ref: FOI-0861-1718
Thank you for your email received by us on 27 June 2017 asking for information about the Congestion Charge fees. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require. You asked:
“I would also like to know how many people have paid the £10 admin fee since it has been in operation, and if possible, how many people have paid unnecessarily and not claimed it back. Please consider this a request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act if that helps.”
The Congestion Charging Scheme is governed by the Congestion Charging Consolidated Scheme Order which sets out the following:
• The owner of a vehicle is responsible for ensuring that the relevant charge is paid for their vehicle no later than midnight on the next charging day.
• A request for the refund of weekly, monthly and annual charges may only be made in advance of the first day of travel and that any refund is subject to a charge of £10. There is no provision within the Scheme Order for the refund of a daily charge.
• A request to transfer a Congestion Charge to a different date or different vehicle may only be made in advance of or on the first day of travel, and is subject to a charge of £2.50. There is no provision for requesting a retrospective amendment.
• There is a charge of £10 for registering any vehicle on an Auto Pay account and a further annual charge of £10 for each vehicle remaining on that Auto Pay account.
Therefore payment of the above charges is a legal requirement rather than a reimbursement of costs incurred by TfL. A copy of the Scheme Order can be found on our website at: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/consolidated-congestion-charging-scheme-order.pdf.
We enforce the Congestion Charging zone using a network of ANPR cameras that capture images of vehicles as they enter, leave or drive within the zone. Images of vehicles that have not paid the charge are downloaded from our cameras on to our back office system at midnight on the next charging day (for the purposes of issuing a PCN). Since the images are not downloaded on the day of travel, we are unable to confirm if a vehicle has been recorded in the zone until after midnight on the next charging day. As explained above, there is no requirement for us to do so.
Day-to-day operation of the Congestion Charging Scheme is undertaken by our service provider Capita. We assume by “discussions with them about this admin fee” you are referring to negotiations with Capita about the level of charges applied, however this was not discussed since payment of these charges is a legal requirement. Under the terms of the contract, Capita are required to collect all charges as set out within the Scheme Order.
TfL is not responsible for the Dartford River Crossing and is therefore unable to comment on this point.
If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London