Shouldn’t There Be An App For Congestion Charges & Tolls?

Friday, 27. February 2015

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

There should be an App for that! How many times have you seen something or done something that is a complete pain in the jacksy thinking – there should be an app for that on my phone. It would make life so much easier. I thought this at the end of last year when the new Dartford Crossing charge system was introduced.

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I agreed that introducing some other form of payment that no longer required the use of payment booths would speed up the flow of traffic, having spent what seemed like days in Dartford crossing tailbacks, but I have to say panic sets in when suddenly you are required to make the trip and know that you need to prepay the fee, pay within a day or be fined.

The same applies to congestion charges, you are happily following your sat nav directions, that incidentally doesn’t give you an option to avoid congestion charge zones, and suddenly you realise that you are ‘in the zone’ and you haven’t paid! Good Lord, time for a heart attack. To make life easier fleets are calling for a new scheme that is controlled by the DVLA as they hold all of the required information on cars and their keepers necessary to centralise a payments system.

They suggest that if drivers enter into the London congestion charge zone, and it’s only a matter of time before other towns and cities introduce this cash cow into their own central areas, or they have a toll to pay, that it is controlled centrally, thereby reducing time and admin on both sides.

Around 100,000 to 120,000 Dartford crossings are made every day with between 15,000 and 18,000 charges remaining unpaid. This costs the Highways Agency about £40,000 per day which equates to £3 million since the scheme started last November. Now whilst it’s not my nature to sob into my cup-a-soup over the losses sustained by the Highways Agency it made me think that there should be an app for that.

Set up all your details including credit card details in your phone and when you need to pay a toll or enter a congestion zone tap the app, tap the charge, eg. London Congestion Zone or Birmingham M6 Toll and Bob’s your cross dressing aunty – job done! I appreciate that you can set up an account for the congestion zone or the crossing but you are not in control.

Could you remember if you crossed the Thames at Dartford on the 15th January? But with an App it could also send confirmation to your email address. I know I’m bloody brilliant! You would think in this day and age when we get Internet access via our car radio and even our watch, that it wouldn’t be a massive step to create an app that we actually need! By Graham Hill

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