Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Innocent Drivers Facing Fines in Computer Chaos

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Innocent Drivers Facing Fines in Computer Chaos

Article excerpt

Byline: ISABEL OAKESHOTT

DRIVERS applying for discounts on Ken Livingstone's congestion charges are being issued with paperwork riddled with inaccuracies, threatening to plunge the entire system into disarray.

Staff processing the forms are making basic errors, including muddling up addresses, misspelling names and entering inaccurate vehicle details into computer databases.

Some drivers who have already paid their annual fees have been registered under the wrong number plates - meaning they face being unfairly fined the minute they enter the zone.

Critics fear the mistakes will spark chaos when charges come in, with cheating motorists escaping fines and innocent drivers receiving penalty notices meant for other individuals.

So far, about 8,000 motorists who live within the charging zone have applied for the 90 per cent discount they are entitled to receive.

Transport for London wrote to all car owners in the area encouraging them to apply early to avoid a u10 fee for processing forms that arrive after charges come in on 17 February.

But residents claim clerks have failed to process important details accurately. One driver who rang TfL's call centre to draw attention to the mistakes was told his details could not be changed on the database.

Jonathan Glanz, 41, a property developer who lives in Marylebone, applied for his discount last November. After sending his cheque he was dismayed to hear nothing from TfL.

He later discovered that the letter containing his receipt and confirmation of his details had been sent to a stranger at the other end of his street. He said: "I don't agree with the congestion charges but, as a lawabiding citizen, I decided to pay the annual fee upfront. I was bewildered when I didn't hear anything back.

"It was only thanks to the ingenuity of the Post Office, who tracked me down because I have an unusual surname, that I got anything back. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.