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Low-tech solution beats London's hi-tech congestion charge

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Unscrupulous motorists are thieving the identities of other cars to beat London's £200m hi-tech congestion charge scheme.

Some 800 cameras patrolling at 400 points around the nation's capital snap the registration plates of vehicles entering central London. The numbers are crosschecked against a massive database to find out who has paid - and more importantly, who hasn't.

But some motorists are simply dodging the fee by using false number plates, reports today's Independent.

So, it seems even £200m worth of technology can't compete with that.

Indeed, nor can it cope with the antics of other motorists who simply cover up their number plates as they move into the congestion charge zone.

And there's more. Those clever-clogs at Xerox claim they're miles ahead of London's congestion charge.

Twenty years ago the company ditched cars for its central London engineers and instead suggested they walk and use public transport to get to their appointments.

Xerox has some 100 "walking engineers" in Central London based at three offices within the congestion charge zone. They simply carry a toolbox, laptop and a card that lets them travel on London's underground.

A spokesman for the IT company said that its punters are "impressed by our quick response time". ®

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