Congestion Charge changes to improve customer service
- CC Auto Pay and fleet customers to continue to benefit from a £1 reduction and pay £10.50 per day
- Customer improvements will be introduced next year, including Direct Debit payments for CC Auto Pay customers, online discount applications, and easier NHS patients and staff reimbursement
Transport for London today confirmed a number of changes to the Congestion Charging scheme designed to maintain its effectiveness at managing congestion and to improve customer service.
The first change, which follows a public consultation that took place earlier this year, will see the daily Congestion Charge price increased, for the first time since 2011, from £10 to £11.50 (or £10.50 if paid using CC Auto Pay or £14 if paid the next charging day).
The change will come into effect on 16 June 2014.
The increase will ensure the charge remains a relative deterrent to all but the most essential journeys into the centre of London, contributing an income of £82.7m over the course of the next five years, which will be re-invested into London's transport network - including modernising London's roads infrastructure.
Since the Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003 more than £1.2 billion of revenue has been re-invested in transport, including £960m on improvements to the bus network, £102m on roads and bridges, £70m on road safety, £51m on local transport/borough plans and £36m on sustainable transport and the environment.
A range of changes to the Congestion Charge are being introduced in late 2015 that will provide benefits to customers.
- CC Auto Pay users will be able to pay by Direct Debit (currently only credit or debit cards can be used);
- Customers eligible for discounts, including blue badge holders, will be able to apply for these discounts online from 2015 when Capita takes over Congestion Charge services;
- Certain journeys undertaken by NHS patients and staff within the Congestion Charge zone are entitled to reimbursement. Currently if they paid by CC Auto Pay they are not able to be reimbursed. A further change to the Congestion Charge scheme will allow everyone eligible under the NHS Reimbursement Scheme to be reimbursed whether they pay by CC Auto Pay or other methods;
- Allowing customers who have paid the Congestion Charge in advance, but can no longer travel on the date in question, to amend the date for a small administration fee of £2.50.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL's Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport, said:
'These changes will ensure the Congestion Charge remains effective in managing congestion in central London.
'We have listened to our customers and are making a number of changes to make paying the Congestion Charge and applying for discounts easier and simpler.'
CC Auto Pay remains the most straightforward way to pay the Congestion Charge, with more than 340,000 vehicles currently registered.
It is an automated payment system which automatically records the number of days a vehicle travels within the charging zone each month and bills the account holder's card accordingly.
Drivers registered for CC Auto Pay never have to remember to pay the charge, avoid fines and pay a reduced rate.
An annual £10 registration charge per vehicle applies to register for CC Auto Pay and accounts holders are able to register up to five vehicles per account.From 2015 CC Auto Pay users will be able to pay by Direct Debit.
Notes to Editors:
- The results of the Congestion Charge consultation are published at: www.tfl.gov.uk/ccyourviews
- Capita will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Congestion Charging and Low Emission schemes from October 2015, when the current contract with IBM expires, and will provide the IT, back office systems and customer contact centre for both the Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone schemes.