River crossing toll rises by 50 per cent
13 November 2008

The charge to use the Dartford River Crossing is to rise by 50 per cent. The Department for Transport has claimed this is an attempt to reduce congestion on what is one of the UK’s busiest sections of toll roads.

Users of the northbound tunnels and southbound bridge crossing the River Thames will now have to pay £1.50 for a car, an additional 50 pence. The changes will come into force from 10pm on Saturday 15 November.

Rising costs of operating the river crossing are thought to be a reason behind the increase, but Le Crossing, the company responsible for collecting the toll charge, claimed the decision was made by the Department for Transport (DfT) and The Highways Agency.

According to the DfT, the increase is a result of the continuing demand placed on the busy link joining the two ends of the orbital M25 motorway.

“The prospect of demand rising has led to a cash price increase on the Crossing,” said Paul Malley, spokesman for the Department of Transport. “It will give people an incentive to pay without cash, which will help traffic flow more smoothly.”

The original £1 fare will still be available to users of the Dart-Tag electronic payment system, while local residents will pay just 20 pence per crossing. Off-peak travel between 10pm and 6am will now be free.

Charges for the Crossing were originally scheduled to end in 2003, once the cost of building the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge had been repaid.

Charging continued, however, as a way of managing the predicted 17 per cent increase in congestion. More than 150,000 vehicles use the crossing every day.

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13 November 2008

So charging continued so as 'to manage the traffic'.

Oh really....... All it has 'managed' to do is relieve their drivers of cash. I really wish they would quit the bullshit.

13 November 2008

Must admit the whole "manage the traffic" comment was rubbish, what they are actually doing is paying for the up keep.

There is a considerable amount of maintenance work done on both tunnels (and to a lesser extent the bridge), which would has to be paid for some how. Yes, there will always be the argument this should be paid for in our road tax, but this is no normal section of road.



It's all about the twisties........

13 November 2008

The main purpose of the toll was to pay for the construction costs, which I believe have now been covered.

The second report into the the A3 tunnel concluded that using tolls there was counter-productive for many reasons and I believe most of these agruements would apply equally to the Dartford Crossing.

It they cannot abandon the toll why not use the congestion zone CCTV and website technology to end the wasteful queuing to pay and all the delays and pollution associated with it?

13 November 2008

Why do they have to insult our inteligance, why not simply say, "the cost of maintenance has gone up, and as a result so must the toll, oh and by the way we will make a tidy profit from it as well but we are a company so that is alowed"

Also dtf claim it is "to reduce congestion" where exactly? how else do people get from one side of the river to the other? though london, thats a great idea well done! lets reduce congestion on the motorways, that will in no way effect the citys/b roads in the area!??!?!?!. PLEASE!

13 November 2008

[quote Autocar]The Department for Transport has claimed this is an attempt to reduce congestion on what is one of the UK’s busiest sections of toll roads.[/quote] Does the useless DfT not realise something that is plainly obvious to every other person in the country - namely that the best way to reduce congestion at this crossing is to do away with stopping the traffic to pay the toll. If they need to raise revenue to pay for maintenance, then be honest about it and say so, don't try to hide behind obvious untruths - this disreputable government just cannot stop lying about everything, it seems. By the way , what did they envisage doing about paying for maintenance in the original agreement when the build-costs had been paid for by the tolls in 2003 ?

Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

13 November 2008

Yes traffic hold ups are up since the bridge was built. No suprise to anyone with half an ounce of a brain! What idiot thought that building huge shopping centres at both sides of the crossing was a great idea? Now we are expected to go on paying and also pay more for this. When will the car 'press' and anyone with a voice start realizinjg that the car IS the premier transport system in Britain. There is no viable alternative available. All motorists provide this transport system at great cost to themselves and ever increasing greed from our 'masters' with decreasing recognition and ever increasing attack. Only those with a voice such as 'AUTOCAR' could lead a rally against this victimisation. Something to get apathetic britain to counter the rising costs starting, perhaps, with the Dartford crossing. Come on !! or am I a lone voice?

13 November 2008

I think the government are making a mistake here! i think queues will be longer whilst people struggle to cough up the correct change, leaving even lengthier queues at the manned booths!!!

Nice thinking by a thick government!

14 November 2008

[quote Kee Law]

agreed. and how about the non-manned ones? the ones where you used to be able to chuck a pound in. will they work with 50ps?


Don't give them ideas! They will put it up to £2, with the spin that it is down to technical issues.

Now, on the other side of this argument, the local resident 20p tolls are a good idea. Not that I am biased, living in the catchment area for them.

The down side with these though, is that you are only allowed one per person and they have to be registered to a particular car. This means I will have to retain one £1.00 Dart Tag for my other cars.



It's all about the twisties........

14 November 2008

Good point Kee - as a regular crosser, I've always made sure I have a couple of pound coins to hand. If the baskets don't work with the new charge, that is going to be a major pain in the bottom.

14 November 2008

The baskets do work with other coins, upto the value of £1 (or £1.50 now), as it is based on a range of weights (so I am led to believe) rather than the expectation of a particular coin.

A few years back, when the DETR did the "consultation" on the removal of the tolls, as promised when the bridge was announced following it being paid for, they claimed that if the tolls were removed then traffic levels would have increased by 10% by 2010 (I don't remember the exact numbers, but something in that order).

I wrote to the consultation team asking by what levels they expected traffic to increase by 2010 with the tolls retained. Over a six week period, e-mailing at least once a week, involving my MP, the MPs for Thurrock and Dartford, the Roads Minister and the Secretary of State I never got a straightforward reply that got even close to answering the question. I don't know why they were so shy..as it happens over recent years the traffic levels have remained steady at around 145,000 crossings per day...but then, so has rush hour congestion which only seems to be on the approach to the tolls.

Revenue 2006-07 was £69million. Around £5million per annum spent on the crossing and £1.75m per annum was directed towards local transport initiatives, now removed.

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