TfL swaps IBM for Capita to run Congestion Charge scheme

London cab

Capita is to take back responsibility for running Transport for London's (TfL) Congestion Charge scheme once its contract with IBM expires in October 2015.

The company was awarded the five-year deal after a 12-month tendering process, and will provide the IT kit needed to run the back office and customer contract centre for TfL's Congestion Charge and LEZ schemes.

Furthermore, it has been asked to improve the delivery of the Congestion Charge scheme through the introduction of direct debit payments for Auto Pay customers, the development of an online registration system, and new reimbursement procedures for NHS patients and staff.

Capita has also secured a contract to supply the IT needed to run TfL's traffic enforcement notice processing scheme, which issues penalty charge alerts for traffic offences that take place within London.

The company is expected to make 145 million over the course of the contracts. Furthermore, TfL also has the option to extend the length of the agreement by a further five years once the original terms expire.

Once the five years are up, TfL will be given the option to extend Capita's involvement with the scheme by another five years.

This isn't the first time Capita has been involved with TfL's Congestion Charge scheme, as it designed, deployed and operated the technology used to run it from launch in February 2003 until February 2009. It was then taken over by IBM.

Andy Parker, deputy chief executive of Capita, said the company's past experience stood it in good stead during the selection process.

"Congestion charging, Low Emission Zones and traffic enforcement play an important role in reducing congestion, meeting emission targets and increasing investment in London's transport and we are looking forward to working alongside TfL once again to improve the experience for road users," said Parker.

Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport at TfL, added: "Capita has been selected to fulfil these contracts because they are well equipped to meet our operational and technical requirements.

"The contract provides good value for money and includes the provision for a number of improvements to the Congestion Charge scheme that will make things easier and more straightforward for customers."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.