Assembly member condemns 1.5 hour wait to pay London vehicle fee
Drivers spent up to an hour-and-a-half waiting on the telephone to pay the London congestion charge, local politicians have revealed.
Data uncovered by the London Assembly Transport Committee revealed that on one day in December last year there had been nearly 12,000 calls to the telephone hotline and that half had been abandoned without an answer.
The average waiting time was 15 minutes and the longest was 86 minutes, said Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat member of the assembly.
“The ability to get through to the congestion charge telephone line is vital, especially for people who occasionally drive into central London and are not familiar with how it operates,” said Ms Pidgeon.
“It is a disgrace that over such a long period of time average waiting times to get through have frequently been a quarter of a hour, forcing thousands of people to simply give up in despair.
“I am a strong supporter of the congestion charge but this appalling service gives it an appalling name and undermines its credibility.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Capita, which runs the payment system, had faced a number of problems following a system upgrade.
“I have been assured that customers have not been penalised if they have been unable to pay as a result of these problems,” he said, according to BT.com.
Drivers of certain cars must pay a daily charge of £11.50 for driving into London. There are discounts available and drivers can also pay online.