It seems that Transport for London feel they can take my money, without giving anything in return, because it will cost them too much to issue a refund.
I pay my congestion charge weekly (every Monday), so I never forget. I can’t do it monthly, because, more often than not, I do not work every business day in a month. However, last Wednesday I had a car accident and my car is now off the road. I applied to Transport for London for a refund, only to be told they only issue refunds on monthly or yearly payments, because its too expensive.
“When Congestion Charging was set up it was with the intention of encouraging greater use of public transport, so that essential journeys by car would be quicker and easier, which is certainly the case.
The money we collect is spent directly on improvements to the transport network. Over the first 10 years of the Scheme it is expected to raise more than £1.3 billion to re-invest in transport improvements across London.
The cost of refunding daily or weekly charges is high and undermines the whole Scheme. We really can’t justify it, which is why we only refund unexpired monthly or annual payments.”
I’m sorry, but I cannot use public transport, because when I finish work there is no way of my getting home. I have no option but to drive to and from work in central London. Even if transport were available, this female would not travel alone in the wee hours of the morning on said public transport, having witnessed what happens to male bus drivers on the routes to be undertaken.
What annoys me is that I cannot afford to pay out this extra £24 because I have to find £250 to pay the excess for my repairs to my car; money I just don’t have; and I have to fork out more than £8 a day to get into work (three buses and one train – I also walk the last leg, but that’s free). What’s more, its costs over £80 per night by taxi to get home. Yes! That’s right. £80 a night.
So, where do Transport for London get off saying its too expensive for them to issue me a refund for the unused congestion charge? Thieving b@stards. I wonder just how much extra money they make every year from unused congestion charge payments? I’m betting its around the £1,000,000 mark. How can this be legal?