Fleet News

Congestion charge blunder hits fleets

FLEETS have been hit by yet another London congestion charging blunder after receiving letters telling them their accounts will be closed.

An undisclosed number of letters have been sent to fleets by Transport for London (TfL), warning that their congestion charge account would be closed within 14 days for failing to meet certain terms and conditions. But TfL has admitted the mistake and fleets are now being assured they need take no action as it is the result of an 'administrative error' and that their accounts are safe.

The letter stated: 'Your account is being closed following failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the fleet scheme. Your account has contained less than 25 vehicles for a period of seven working days during the last 90-day period. If you wish to appeal against this account closure notification, all appeals must be received in writing.'

A spokeswoman for TfL said: 'All fleets have been sent a follow-up letter, telling them to disregard the initial letter. No action will be taken, as it was an administrative error.'

Fleet News Award winner Gill Garret, fleet manager at Premiere Products received one of the first TfL letters.

She said: 'A number of fleet mangers had the same problem and had received the same letter. However, when they made contact with Transport for London, they were told it was a computer error. I haven't heard any more, I haven't chased them and my account is still running.'

The confusion comes just weeks after TfL officials 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 and led to overpayments.

Further controversy over the congestion charge also emerged last weekend, after the Government agreed to back plans to investigate 'red light rigging'.

Last year, TfL admitted that a tenth of London traffic lights were altered. Critics claimed the changes were made to make congestion worse, and were then changed again to improve the situation when the charge was introduced in February.

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