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Running London's congestion charge

Taking a closer look at how we're helping redesign a key piece of London’s transport infrastructure from the ground up.

In January 2014, Transport for London (TfL) awarded Capita the contract to run London’s Congestion Charge and the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) business operations, including taking responsibility for the processing of traffic enforcement notices across the entire TfL road network. The five-year contract is worth over £145m in revenue.

Capita held the initial contract for the design, implementation and operation of the Congestion Charge when it was introduced in London in February 2003, and successfully ran the service until 2009.

Since the original contract, TfL has modernised its strategy and procurement process and its aim with the new combined Congestion Charge, LEZ and enforcement tender was to find a supplier who could deliver a flexible, scalable solution promoting common services across the organisation – with the potential to grow as required.

The tender was issued in two lots, the first for the Congestion Charge and LEZ business operation and the second for enforcement processing. It also included substantial headroom for TfL to potentially commission a much wider set of related services across the entire business; with an upper value of c.£750m over five years. Capita bid for both lots, and developed a new model to transform the services, building on our existing expertise and facilities whilst allowing for maximum flexibility. 

London congestion charging sign

The experience and expertise we have across Capita, together with implementing and managing the congestion charge scheme when it was first launched, means that we are well equipped to deliver for TfL.

Dawn Marriott-Sims

Joint Chief Operating Officer

Significant channel shift and increased mobile engagement are key elements of the new system, helping to drive a transformation in customer experience.

Most importantly, the scheme has been designed to allow for expansion and innovation – an open-ended service design that will ensure Capita can match TfL’s expanding requirements as they emerge. The headroom in the contract will allow for TfL to commission wider services, and so Capita’s system is being built with this in mind.

System implementation and transfer has been running smoothly and, in September 2014, nine months after the original contract award, TfL announced that it had made the decision to transfer control of the Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone to Capita over a year earlier than the original planned hand-over date of November 2015.

These services are currently being delivered under the existing model as Capita continues to implement its new system. Until the original handover date in November 2015, the previous contractors IBM will continue to supply IT infrastructure services to Capita, supporting these operations.

All figures correct at time of publication in April 2015.

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