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CD 1045 - 52pp Text 21/8/08 12:17 Page 46
IN VIEW
Don’t get busted get a KenBuster
As anyone who has driven Last week TfL announced
into London in the last few figures indicating that the
years will know, paying the
number of people getting
Congestion Charge, the first
caught out has dropped from
charge of its kind in a major
6500 to 5600 each day. This
city, is a far from
reduction, say TfL, is due to
straightforward affair. Drivers
the Congestion Charge being
have to remember to pay by
made easier to pay, but it
midnight the same day, either
could also be in part due to a
online, by phone or at a select
new gadget that automatically
number of service stations
pays the Congestion Charge
and newsagents, or risk
for you. Invented by Matthew
incurring a £120 fine. It seems
McCluskey the KenBuster is a
that remembering is not so
easy. Indeed, it seems for
money-saving gadget that will
many that the system is designed for
stop unwitting drivers getting
Charge if they came to power in London,
people to forget with the resulting fines
fined and takes away the hassle of
Johnson will keep the charge, with some
generating some £100 million for
actually having to remember to pay.
potential minor differences. The most
Transport for London last year (more than
About the size of a mobile phone that
significant is the scrapping of the
a third of their entire revenue). Without
plugs into the cigarette lighter, the
introduction of the £25 charge for high
the fines, the Congestion Charge would
KenBuster uses GPS and triggers an
carbon emission vehicles due to be
be operating at a loss. Small businesses
automatic payment to TfL when you enter
are particularly hard hit, with managers
introduced in October (there is currently a
the zone during controlled hours,
struggling to keep track of where their
uniform £8 charge for all vehicles). Any
confirming that you’ve paid via text and
drivers have been. It has made operating
other proposed changes (such as the
email. We can only wait to see how far
a business in London a little like running
scrapping of the Western Extension) will
Boris is prepared to go to alleviate the
the gauntlet.
not be considered until the contract for
problems faced by London’s motorists,
Despite years of the Conservatives
handling the zone is handed over to IBM
but in the meantime, at least there’s hope
vowing they would scrap the Congestion
at the end of 2009.
for the forgetful driver!
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