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IBM grabs London congestion charge deal

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Transport for London has awarded IBM the contract to run its congestion charge scheme.

The company won the deal from Capita, which has managed the scheme since it was introduced in 2002, at the end of a competitive tendering process in which Thales Alliance also took part.

IBM will take over the role, including the relevant technology and customer contact channels, from November 2009. At the same time it will take control of the Low Emission Zone scheme, due to be launched in February 2008.

NCP Services, IBM's consortium partner, will be responsible for the scheme's enforcement. The contract will run for five years with an option to extend for another five.

A spokesperson for Transport for London (TfL) told GC News on 25 October 2007 that Capita convinced the organisation it could meet its operational and technical requirements while providing the best value.

"We're looking to take the congestion charge scheme further to make it more flexible, going into areas like automatic payment and people having accounts, and IBM put forward an economically advantageous bid," the spokesperson said.

According to the latest figures from TfL, the congestion charge has reduced traffic levels within the zone by 21 per cent from before its introduction, and generated provisional net revenues of £123m in 2006-07 for spending on improvements in London's transport network.

The Low Emission Zone scheme will be used in an effort to control air quality standards throughout Greater London, utilising technology such as automatic number plate recognition to monitor emissions from commercial vehicles.

The spokesperson said that, although Capita will be responsible for launching the scheme after losing the contract, TfL is confident that the "excellent working relationship" between the two will continue.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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