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Road user charging and BCS Branch AGM

Date & Time:
19:30:00 - 21:00:00,
Thursday 24 May, 2007


Derek Turner will talk about the technical and management challenges of the Transport for London Congestion Charge project. With the Financial Times reporting in August 2006 that ministers expect powers to be introduced in the next parliamentary session to permit road-tolling across the UK, this should be a highly topical talk.

The congestion charging scheme was first introduced on 17 February 2003 after 75 years of policy work on road use pricing. Once it was implemented, it took less than 2 weeks for the programme to settle down; the fear factor therefore evaporated due to the rapid stabilization.

The team showed that ‘Enthusiasm’ and a ‘can-do attitude’ combined with the use of proven and effective, rather than leading edge, technology can deliver an ‘impossible’ project on time. They created a successful public-private partnership, harnessing the strengths of both. The provision of many different ways for people to register and pay was important: the most used being SMS via mobile phones, while payment over the counter is also popular and encourages people to use small shops, often run by ethnic minorities. The team also learned that it was important to present the project to the public and the politicians as part of an overall scheme; the public information campaign proved very valuable.

This event is being organised in collaboration with the British Computer Society (BCS).

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  • Name: Derek Turner CBE
  • Affiliation: Highways Agency National Traffic Director
  • Role:
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  • Bio: Derek was Transport for London’s Managing Director of Street Management and the chief architect of the Congestion Charge. He was Chairman of the Institution of Civil Engineers Transport Board from 1999. In June 2003, he was awarded the CBE for his services to transport in London.