Transport for London (TfL) could take away the ability to pay the congestion charge by text, saying it’s ‘underused’.
The congestion charge increased to £11.50 in June this year. Drivers can pay online or via phone or text message. TfL says that just 400 of the 130,000 payments were made by text. The plan is to introduce a smartphone app by November 2015 to replace text payment. TfL’s preferred option appears to be CC Auto-Pay — removing payment by text would push the last remaining users onto this system.
Interestingly, the same consultation also proposes allowing TfL to refuse payments from unauthorised third party websites from December this year. ‘Unauthorised third parties’ means those infuriating copycat websites (you can find them with a quick Google) that slap an extra charge on top of your £11.50 payment. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) clamped down on one of these in January, but that site (and other similar ones) remain online to dupe the unwary.
Have your say on TfL’s plans for the congestion charge on its consultation page. The consultation runs until 12 September.
Photo by steve angelkov in the Londonist Flickr pool.