Regular Dartford Crossing Users Face 20% Toll Hike
For the many thousands of users who have a pre-paid account at the Dartford Crossing, the charge per crossing has been £1.67 (ie a one-third discount on the full £2.50 charge) for a number of years, however this is due to increase to £2 as from 1st October. The standard £2.50 charge remains as it is.
The operators claim the additional money is needed to fund improvements at the crossing, however with 150,000 users a day the Crossing currently raises a surplus of around £70million per year.
Long-term campaigner to scrap the toll, Cllr Clarence Barrett (Cranham, RA), said: “Ideally, there should be no charge at all as it was promised by the government at the time that the toll would cease once the cost of Bridge and Tunnels was fully met. Indeed, this happened in 2002, but the government then decided to carry on and call it a congestion charge instead!
“There has been no consultation and no warning that this draconian increase is to be foisted upon drivers who have no choice but to use the Crossing on a regular basis to undertake their business.
“While the crossing over the bridge from Essex into Kent has improved, the passage from Kent into Essex is subject to very significant delays on a regular basis, causing pollution, frustration and unnecessary costs. To then increase the charge by 20 per cent for the privilege of sitting in huge traffic queues is nothing short of a disgrace.
“On top of this, it is particularly galling that unpaid charges by overseas drivers amounted to £81 million last year, with little hope of recovery. As I have suggested before, there could be some form of on-line deposit scheme for overseas vehicles entering the country and any fines, tolls or other road related charges are automatically deducted – thereby avoiding the cost and time associated with chasing debts across the continent.”