Fleet News

DHL overpays £10,000 in congestion charges

DELIVERY company DHL estimates it has overpaid £10,000 in congestion charges because of an ongoing software crisis at Transport for London (TfL) that has caused mayhem for hundreds of fleets.

Last month, TfL admitted it had failed to set up direct debit payments in time for 830 of the 1,280 fleets registered for advance payment schemes. It meant fleets affected were unable to register vehicles for the £5 per day charge.

DHL general services manager Paul Bellamy complained at the time that the company was suffering from a mountain of extra paperwork to try and resolve the problem. About 300 DHL vehicles regularly travel into the London charging zone, 100 of which are powered by liquefied petroleum gas meaning they should be exempt from the charge.

But Bellamy has still not received confirmation the exempt vehicles have been registered – weeks after the charging scheme was launched on February 17.

He said: 'In terms of administration we are still suffering from long delays and waiting for confirmation that some of our vehicles are registered. We are no further forward.

'Ordinary registrations are fine but it has affected our exempt vehicles. We don't know if they have been registered so we are paying the charge for them. Of course we hope to get the money back but I expect we have overpaid about £10,000. We are finding it incredibly hard to set up a dialogue with TfL.

'Despite repeated requests they are not communicating with us.'

A TfL spokesman admitted that the group is aware of the problem. He said: 'There is a fleet scheme for an alternative fuel discount but companies are having to issue individual applications for their vehicles. TfL is working through these applications and is going as quickly as possible. We do apologise if the service is not as expected but please bear with us.'

The advance payment scheme is designed to reduce administration costs for fleets by allowing them to register vehicles in bulk over the internet and, for an optional fee, ask TfL to check which registered vehicles enter the charging zone during the day. TfL earlier pledged that any fleets that receive a fine through the post for non-registered vehicles entering the zone will not have to pay the charge.

  • For details on congestion charging, log on to the website at www.cclondon.com.
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