Extra tech to fix short-sighted C-charge

28 July 2005

G-Wiz: electric Noddy-carApparently London’s wondrous congestion charging initiative, as well as failing to raise the expected revenues, suffers from inadequate technology. According to a report published by UK trade rag Computing, the computerised cameras posted in a ring around the charging zone are able to read only 70 percent of the number plates on cars whizzing - or more often crawling - on their expensive way to wherever they are going.
The solution? More complexity. A trial already under way in the London Borough of Southwark will see cars fitted with the Q-Free tagging system already used to charge for toll roads in a number of countries.
Q-Free relies on passive wireless tags and a system of active roadside scanners. Tags are normally glued to the windscreen behind the rear-view mirror. Being useful only for regular commuters, the Q-Free tags will supplement rather than replace the existing system, meaning more expense and - it would seem - even less money for improving public transport.
It’s enough to make you want to buy an electric Noddy-car.

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