Residents Miss out on Dartford Crossing Discounts
It was recently reported that Thurrock and Dartford residents have saved £1 million per year thanks to the Dartford Crossing local resident discount scheme which offers users, against a standard charge of £2.50 per crossing, unlimited crossings for £20 per year or £10 for 50 crossing with additional journeys at 20p each.
While eligibility is restricted to residents of those two councils, upon further scrutiny it appears unfair and somewhat bizarre that residents in Corringham, Thurrock (10 miles from crossing), should benefit while Havering residents in Upminster (7 miles) do not. Similarly, residents of New Barn in Dartford are entitled to the discount at 6 miles distance, but Havering residents in Rainham at a mere 4 miles are not! A similar argument can be made from near neighbours in Crayford, Bexley.
The easiest way to remove these oddities is to remove the toll entirely, which was promised back in 2002 when the cost of the crossing was fully repaid. However, while a discount scheme exists, I propose that the Highways Agency should base the scheme on an agreed distance from the crossing in order to make it fair and equitable to everyone.
Even the Highways Agency agree with this rational as, in a bid to get more local residents signed up, a representative from Highways Agency said: “There are tens of thousands of local residents not benefitting from the discounted crossings.” Well, I couldn’t agree more!
Cllr Clarence Barrett