A small feature of the Congestion Charge just made my shitlist
by Bruce Ure at 14:02 24/07/08 (Blogs::Bruce)
Basically I'm in favour of the CC, but this has pissed me off.

If I leave the congestion charge zone somewhere between 06:59:50 and 07:00:10, how can I find out whether I was actually 'caught'? My watch might not be atomically-accurate, and even if it is I might not be able to tell accurately enough which side of the line my number plate was at exactly 07:00:00.

The official answer, from a TFL droid I just spoke to, is "You can't. We have no way of checking whether you owe the charge or not; we just get the penalty charge notices a couple of days afterwards."

What a shame the technology doesn't exist to allow this to be able to happen. Oh hang on, it does, it would be an utter piece of cake to do this. Better still, if you're in any doubt, you pay it, and if your plate doesn't appear on the database, they don't take your payment.

Except, oh hang on, they'd lose loads of money from all the people who'd rather pay it to be on the safe side than risk the 50 fine.

This really sucks.

I wonder how much they make every day from people whose plates don't appear. I'd bet it's many tens or even hundreds of people.


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