At the start of November I pointed out that penalty charges were the Congestion Charge’s Achilles’ heel. Figures taken from a question from LibDem AM Sally Hamwee showed that last year £95.0 million out of the CC’s total income of £252.4 million was derived from penalty charges. This figure is actually more than the total net profit raised from the scheme of £89.1 million. An entrepreneur called Matthew McClusky has come up with a gizmo he calls the KenBuster which will automatically pay the CC when a driver crosses the zone boundary.
Any Londoner knows that the CC scheme has been set up to ensure that people fall foul of it and have to pay fines. One slip and you get a fine. It would have been easy for TfL to set up up a direct debit arrangement that simply billed people when they entered the zone – after all TfL knows when that happens and knows who you are from your number plate. But no. They wanted to make it hard to use the Congestion Charge so you have to remember to pay. This device only costs £200 which is the same as two fines.
The CC is toast. Add this development to the Mayor’s dumb idea of letting small cars travel for free and soon the zone will be getting even more congested and losing money. Stay in India Livingstone, please.