back to article TfL hands out contracts for congestion charge tags

Transport for London has contracted six companies to introduce 'tag and beacon' technology for the next phase of the capital's congestion charge. The framework contract will provide roadside equipment to charge motorists for driving into the centre of London and the western extension which covers Kensington and Chelsea. Tag …


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  1. Simon
    Thumb Down


    I thought tags were worn by criminals.

    Does that make all car drivers in London a criminal?

    I know the Government hate car drivers, but this is ridiculous. Does Boris agree with this?

  2. Slaine

    what utter tosh

    there is already a perfectly adequate logging system in place... they try to wash my bloody windows every time I leave town

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait for another round of false charging.

    One hopes that the beacons will be placed sufficiently far inside the zone that users who just happen to be passing by don't get charged, and that the ANPR system is linked to the tag system.

    But then will a tag be allocated to a person, or a vehicle.

  4. George

    6! 6 companies?!

    You gotta love bureaucracy.

    I mean I am not a know all on the subject but surely it doesn't need 6 companies to develop when the state of Florida already has one identical system up and running?

    Mines the one with tags on card, passport, Tfl fob, I'm a collector!

  5. Phil Kingston

    hooky tags...

    will be available 3 months later?

  6. Elmer Phud

    Here we go . . .

    Now, where are all those people who voted for Boris 'cos Ken did all those nasty things with congestion charging? Not that this announcement means anything as it's just reading the company glossy brochures. Then there's the consultation period and the tendering and the installing and the testing and ripping it all out and getting someone else in to do it properly to take in to account.

    Could be a while.

  7. Nigel
    Dead Vulture

    False charging?

    The tag is usally a device stuck inside the windscreen. They're commonly used on toll roads and bridges.

    It probably makes very little difference if it's stuck permanently or not. You would have to be pretty dedicated or have unusual circumstances to cheat the system. Drive in. Remove the tag. Take public transport out. Attach tag to another car. Drive second car in. Later drive one out. Take public transport back in . Retrieve other car. No, I don't think it'll be a majority sport.

    As for just passing accidental charging? The enforcement point is usually a good few yards past the C-charge past here sign. And microwave radio is pretty directional. So I don't think it's likely. Also, the one I remember (from NYC? A long time ago) went beep when it was scanned. You'd need to know if the scanner didn't work, because the penalty for not paying on time is horrendous.

    Dead Vulture roadkill, because it was too stupid to realise that humans are so stupid they'll pay £8 to drive in instead of £4 on the tube to get in twice as fast.

  8. M7S
    Thumb Down

    Damn and blast

    That means they're going to go for the motorcyclists now.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    And coming up next...

    ...will be tinfoil bags for your tags.

  10. Mark

    Toll routes

    Happened to me in Melbourne.

    Major road from Sydney to Melbourne. First time in the country and when I get near it starts talking about toll roads.

    Don't know the roads and I'm looking for a way out that doesn't lead to a toll route.


    So here in London, if I'm looking for a way past london and get stuck on a road that's congestion charged, can I reverse or do a U turn to get off there, or will I be forced, by virtue of not having an A-Z on my lap when driving, to pay for a charge I would have been able to avoid if the road rules had let me.

  11. b166er


    So, this technology will be deployed to reduce congestion. Evidently it can be done relatively easily and cheaply.

    However technology to prevent drivers doing 40mph in a 20mph speed zone, or from being within a given distance from the vehicle in front at a given speed, is not yet with us, even though that would be just as cheap and easy to deploy. But where's the money in preventing drivers getting a speeding fine I hear them ask.


  12. Hayden Clark Silver badge


    How many trams can you buy for 3bn!!!!!!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re: False charging?

    I guess I'm missing something here, but how is driving two cars into the C-charge zone going to cheat the system? You'd be charged twice and then what?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    National UK roll-out

    Here we come ...

  15. s. pam

    They'll never work in The Big Smoke

    even though they work fine in Japan, SIngapore, Australia and more than 2 dozen developed countries as an efficient and practical measure, you're guaranteed that it will be a complete and utter cock-up of the highest degree done in the UK.

    face it, functional infrastructure programmes and the UK are mutually exclusive words. if you don't believe that, just pick up a copy of Private Eye....!

  16. George Johnson
    Thumb Up

    @AC - National rollout

    Couldn't agree more! You can see it coming a mile off ( no pun ), nice little sensors all up and down the motorways and major trunk roads. No more road tax, but drive the bugger anywhere outside what you can see from your upstairs bedroom window and we'll have you squeezed for every penny we can get!

    The country is slowly returning to the dark ages, can't travel more than 10 miles from your house, fuel costs too much and public transport is crap, plus be back before sundown else the hoodies will have ya!

  17. Elmer Phud

    re: national roll-out

    Yup, in conjunction with removing the tax disc.

    Sort of pay as you go.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Encouragement, also for thieves

    First the thief: smash window, nick visible card, sell in pub. Nice one..

    A great way to encourage drivers to switch would be to open up the bus lanes for the "taggees" (which would also encourage the theft of the cards. Umm..).

    Slight digression: *anyone* driving a taxi in London has to register and pay tax (unsurprisingly), so why are bus lanes only accessible to black cabs?

    Back on track: I'm happy this whole tagging thing is coming closer to countries with a good quantity of talented hackers available. If satellite cards can be hacked I guess a tag won't take too much time either.

    Tick tock tick tock..

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @re: national roll-out

    .. losing the tax disc? I can't see that happening, when it would give up another one of labours double tax scams...

    i'm not hippie but i got rid of my car a few years ago because i hate handing over so much money for nothing, it was about 40 quid a month to have it sitting on my drive. Then that doubles or triples if you drive it.

    Taxis and hire cars are the way to go. If no-one paid their 8 quid or went into the zone they'd not be getting any revenue then. (although obviously that is not going to happen)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What should happen IMHO

    ... is to have vehicle tax and insurance costs included in the price of petrol. Take least 75% of tax amassed on a yearly basis and plough it back into the travel infrastructure for new roads, repair of existing roads, better and cheaper public transport etc.

    Every country has a massive untapped workforce ... it's called convicted criminals. Get them out onto the streets, force them to earn their privileges by cleaning the streets and park areas. The USA have the right idea ... Make them work! 50% of what they earn goes to their victims, 35% to the prison and they can keep the remaining 15% for luxury items. In other words, if you want it then you earn it.

    This in turn will allow for a massive shift in employment where it will be needed in the transport industry.

  21. Nigel

    Re: false charging

    The London C-charge is a flat rate per day, however many times you travel through the zone. So you could sneak in another car using a tag that had already been scanned (unless the system was reading plates as well and associating plate numbers with tag numbers).

    You never have to do a U turn to avoid entering the C-charge zone accidentally. The zone starts at junctions where you have an alternative (left or right), and is signed well in advance of getting to that junction.

  22. TeeCee Gold badge

    Let's see.

    So every vehicle already has a unique identifier (the number plate) and they've got the tech deployed to read it.

    Now they want to spend a load of cash to add a new unique identifier to each vehicle and deploy a whole new load of tech to read that.

    But they want to run both systems in parallel, 'cos they know that not everyone will have the new one.

    Can anyone else spot the bunch of drooling idiots in this picture? Correct. It's the taxpayers paying the wages of the arseholes who dreamed this one up!

  23. MarkMac


    "losing the tax disc?" ..."another one of labours double tax scams"

    Er no actually. Road Tax has been around since medieaval times, and is one of the few honest taxes around. You use the roads, you pay tax. If anything, it has recently been made fairer with lower tax for smaller cars.

    As for "40 a month to sit in your drive, triple if you use it" what are you talknig about? if its off road its free, and its not the govts fault you drove a truck. And how does it triple when you use it?

    So get your facts right.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't it be lovely

    if every single person, all just stopped driving. 30 odd million people, used public transport or used pedal or foot power. All couriers, van drivers and lorry drivers just decided to use the public transport network to deliver goods.

    If everything was a perfect utopia in the greenies eyes.

    Granted, the country would be crippled, would lose billions in revenue and the tax man was billions of pounds out of pocket, people dying left right and centre as hospitals closed, food was left rotting in warehouses and on farms. Soon water would be at risk as chemicals ran out, sewage leaking onto streets as drains and sewers fall into disprepair. People unable to call for help as the 999 helpdesks are umanned and when they get throught a parmedic is despatched by pushbike 20 miles away.

    What a lovely idea.

    Welcome to the 18th century...a Brown & Cameron Production

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And so it begins ...

    Remember my previous comment about the National Rollout???

    Welcome to Manchester ... Enjoy your stay!

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