FOI request detail

Residents discount for congestion charge - postcode checking broken

Request ID: FOI-2426-1617
Date published: 12 July 2017

You asked

Residents inside the CC zone are required to re-register annually for a 90% discount. This is most conveniently achieved via the online LONDON ROAD USER CHARGING account. However, certain postcodes (such as EC2Y 8**) which are clearly inside the zone are erroneously regarded as outside the zone by the online system. My questions are: 1. How long have TFL been aware of this issue? 2. How many postcodes are incorrectly regarded as outside the zone? 3. When do TFL expect to fix this issue? 4. What advice do you give residents affected by this issue on how to pay for and renew their resident discount?

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-2426-1617


Thank you for your FOI request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 5 March 2017 asking for information about the Congestion Charge.


Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our Information Access Policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.


Since the Congestion Charging operation moved to a new service provider on 26 September 2016, we are aware of an issue affecting a small number of postcodes appearing incorrectly on our website. Some postcodes incorrectly show as being inside the zone, some incorrectly show as being outside the zone, and some show as Address Not Found. This issue is affecting a small number of customers and the majority of eligible Residents are able to set up and renew their discounts for the Congestion Charge online. 


Our database currently holds a total of 16,155 unique postcodes and 119,280 mailboxes that are subject to the Residents’ Discount.  It should be noted however that we routinely add new postcodes to our database as a normal business process, under which new or amended Resident postcodes are validated by the Royal Mail before being uploaded into our database. You asked:


    1.How long have TFL been aware of this issue?
    The earliest record of this issue on our system is dated 29 September 2016.


    2.How many postcodes are incorrectly regarded as outside the zone?
    In total, 123 customers have contacted us due to the small number of postcodes that are not recognised as being within the zone. In addition, we currently have 108 new or amended postcodes awaiting validation by Royal Mail, affecting 239 customers.  


    3.When do TFL expect to fix this issue?
    We are investigating the issue and working closely with our online team and service provider. While we hope to resolve this in the near future, we do not have a date when the issue will be fixed.


    4.What advice do you give residents affected by this issue on how to pay for and renew their resident discount?
We have a process in place to ensure that Residents are not adversely impacted by this issue. Residents who contact us to report this issue are advised to send us their required residency proofs, which are passed to our Discounts processing team within 24 hours. Discount approval letters are then sent to eligible Residents once a week, confirming the date from which the 90% discount will apply. In line with our standard Residents’ Discount process, all applicants, including those applying from a new build or amended postcode, are advised to pay at the full daily rate until their application is approved. Any appropriate refund is then issued with the discount approval letter.


If this is not the information you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely,

Melissa Nichols

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London


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