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London Congestion System Crashed As IBM Takes Over Control

Things have gone awry for IBM on its very first day of assuming the control of Transport for London’s Congestion Charge Systems on Monday this week.

The Big Blue took over the monitoring task of the system from Capita, which had originally established the system and operated it for a span of five years.

Customers that subscribed for paying the transport congestion charges online were reportedly facing problems in accessing the system, as a technical glitch crashed it down on 2nd November.

Transport for London (TfL) transferred all the essential data from Capita servers to IBM over the weekend. Although the transfer reportedly went smoothly, however it still left a huge chunk of users unable to access the system for clearing their congestion charges.

A TfL spokesperson played down the issue by saying that the downtime didn’t affect much, as the charges could be paid the day after.

“We apologise for the problems that some customers may have experienced in accessing the Congestion Charge online payment accounts. These were resolved and all of the new IBM systems are up and running as they should be”, the spokesperson said in a statement.

However, during the time when the systems were down, users could have paid their charges via other channels, including call-centres, SMS, as well as at their local shops.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.