Capita wins £145m congestion charge contract ahead of toll-hike

Capita, which helped set up the congestion charge for London in 2003, has won back the contract to run the scheme, five years after losing it to IBM.

The outsourcing group reckons the contract is worth £145m in revenues over five years – meaning it’s likely to make up just 0.9 per cent of Capita’s annual turnover, which came in at £3.4bn in 2012.

Transport for London claims the new deal means cost savings on its side. This is a minor piece of good news for commuters, as all profits from the congestion charge are poured back into TfL’s upgrade plans – though the sums are dwarfed by the £3.8bn brought in by fares.

Transport for London generated £222m from the congestion charge in 2012/13, and spent £82.8m of this on toll facilities and traffic management. TfL retained net income of £132.2m from the scheme. (source )

These revenues are likely to rise in coming years, if TfL succeeds in raising the toll from £9 to £10 a day for auto-pay.

London’s congestion charge zone is not the world’s first – Singapore has had a scheme since 1985 – but it is likely the biggest by revenues.

Yet it's unclear whether the charge has made a lasting difference to car traffic in the city. Total car journeys in Greater London fell from 10.3m to 10m per day between 2006 and 2011, but TfL and government figures show that car trips have been declining since the 1990s anyway.