Drivers are to be offered a new way of paying London’s daily congestion charge, which will eliminate harsh fines of up to £180 for late payment.
New automated payment accounts will allow pre-registered drivers to enter and leave the C-charge zone and have the £8 fee automatically deducted from their bank accounts.
At the moment about 100,000 fines are issued each month and a total of nine million late payment penalties have been issued since the charge began in February 2003. £94m in fine revenue has yet to be recovered, according to TfL figures.
The new scheme will be introduced next year after IBM takes over the running of the C-Charge scheme from Capita in November.
Sources say that the new, cheaper to run, set-up could make adoption of road tolls easier in cities that lack London’s volume of traffic.
Transport for London said: "The transition of the Congestion Charging contract to IBM will enable TfL to introduce automated payment accounts during 2010."