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August 11, 2020

Congestion Charge to the Cloud: Capita to Shift 40TB, 21 Applications to Azure

Outsourcer wins chunky £355 million contract with TfL

By CBR Staff Writer

Capita is moving over 40TB of data to Microsoft’s Azure cloud has part of a sweeping digital overhaul of London’s Congestion Charge, Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The move comes as the company landed two contracts with Transport for London (TfL worth a combined £355 million.

These extend Capita’s work on the schemes from October 2021 to October 2026, and add new work to expand the scope of ULEZ and LEZ, while adding a new scheme called “Direct Vision Standards” (DVS).

Along with modernising the existing ANPR-led congestion charge scheme and all of its associated back-end infrastructure, Capita will also be managing the expanded ULEZ, from October 2021, which expands the pollution-busting project — first introduced in 2003 — from Central London ULEZ to the entire area within London’s North Circular and South Circular roads.

(As the world’s first ULEZ, London’s congestion charge has helped cut roadside NO2 emissions by 44% since its introduction. The system processes approximately 1.5 million roadside images a day).

Helen Chapman, TfL’s regulation and licensing director, said: “These projects are vital to cleaning up London’s toxic air, encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices and keeping people safe on the capital’s roads. The expansion of the ULEZ to the North and South Circular will be transformational, reducing road transport NOx emissions by around 30 per cent.”

The contract win will also see Capita run the registration and monitoring service for the new project (DVS) to monitor for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that assesses how safely an HGV driver can see through their cab windows, in a bid to reduce pedestrian, cyclist and other road deaths across London.

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The shift to the cloud will add flexibility and scalability, Capita said. The outsourcer will need to migrate some 21 existing applications.

The contract win is timely for Capita, which has faced a torrid year and its share price plunge. The company saw £78 million-worth of contracts terminated or re-negotiated in 2019, as it struggled to rebuild a desperately damaged reputation for poor performance. The congestion charge is widely regarded to be well-run however. Capita will be hoping for a glitch-free migration to Azure.

Meawhile it has been disposing of standalone software products that have “little overlap or cross-sell with the rest of Capita in a bid to restore its battered share price, reduce debt, and streamline operations.

See also: “Broken” Capita’s Own Internal Finance IT Project Delayed, Over-Budget


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