This is an amalgamation of the various threads about cameras on Borough High Street
, Tooley St and the hole in the ground outside the Bermondsey Kitchen
. They are part of a 22 installation mini-zone which is trialing new technology for use with Congestion Charging.
I asked TfL six questions about the mini-zone and the technology trial and their reply is reproduced below (with my original questions prefixed Q1 etc):
Our ref: CC FOI /1087
Dear Mr Connolly
Thank you for your email of 25th August. To answer your queries:
Q1 As a resident in Tanner St of some 17 years, can you tell me what
information was presented to me regarding this trial, prior to its
instigation. I understand that the Bankside Community Forum was
approached but I am unsure as to its connection with Tanner St.
1. The Congestion Charging Trials team presented the plans for the trial at
Bermondsey Community Council
on 6th April and at Borough and Bankside
Community Council on 9th May and welcomed any feedback. Please find
attached the presentation given at those events. These were the two
Community Councils that Southwark Council
asked us to attend as they cover
the streets in the Trials area.
Q2. What companies tendered for the trial contract?
2. The companies that tendered for the trial contract were Q-Free, Kapsch,
Siemens, Thales, Atos Origin and a consortium including the Telematics
Partnership, Robot Visual Systems and Fela AG.
Q3. Which companies are currently being evaluated before a full
installation is made?
3. The companies that won the contract and are currently being evaluated
are Kapsch and Q-Free. Attached is the contract award notice published in
the European Journal.
Q4. What is the total cost of the trial?
4. As you can see from the contract award notice, the total value of the
contract is estimated at £2.5m.
The trial is part of the wider Congestion Charging Technology Trials
programme allocated an £18.2m budget between April 2005 and March 2007. TfL
is running technology trials with the aim of (i) identifying more economic
and flexible charging and enforcement solutions and related
telecommunications services; (ii) evaluating solutions in the London context
of a dense urban area (detection rate, operating cost, accuracy); (iii)
testing, proving and integrating technical options (including digital
cameras and communications, road-side ANPR, GPS, Tag and Beacon, and mobile
phone tracking systems); and (iv) informing input to Transport Strategy and
roads plan development.
Q5. What is the individual cost of each hardware installation?
5. This information is not available to TfL as we do not currently have
visibility of the costs of specific sites, only the total contract value as
(£2.5 divided by 22 is around £100,000 for each installation)
Q6. In quantified terms, what benefit does TfL seek from this new
6. The work is part of a trial of a technology that TfL has identified may
offer potential benefits. TfL will assess the costs/benefits offered in
detail as an outcome of the trial. These will inform any business case that
is prepared to justify, or otherwise, the potential future procurement of
new charging technology.
Congestion Charging Technology Trials team
=============End of reply===============
Contained within the contract documention is a reference to the EU standard contract document which can be found at http://ted.publications.eu.int/official/
and the document reference is 2004/S 223-192406
Reading it through I cannot imagine that companies listed under Q2 would be interested in a small contract for 22 installations. This suggests to me that the general terms of the EU document propose the trialing of technology which will be London-wide or national. The expertise of the companies listed suggests that a London-wide or national scheme would be well within their scope.
Clearly London (or London's car users) are being used to fund the development of something with national implications. The current congestion charging zone has around 220 camera points so replacement of that installation with this 'new technology' will cost around £22million. If the zone is expanded to take in London as a whole then the cost will probably be (at a guess) £100million. How much for a UK wide system.
Isn't their a cheaper way of changing our attitudes or is it all about revenue?