Every time we catch up with Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe we target the same question. What is going on now with the Dartford Crossing? And this week is even more relevant as hidden away in the governments spending cuts and not mentioned by George Osbourn is the very unpopular news that the toll is to rise not once but twice in the near future.
This must have come as quite a shock for Stephen as ,in numerous other interviews, he seemed to have been progressing well with alternative taxing methods for the beleagured motorist. We had talked about scrapping the tolls altogether (the most sensible ,favourable option) but it raises to much cash to be done away with, or of opening the tolls when it got busier .
To be honest this news came as a shock to Stephen as I’m sure it did to Jackie Doyle Price. TBC Leader John Kent had no idea either . Party politics aside the two Mp’s and the Council leader have been ignored and their pleas have gone unanswered .
Thurrock Residents will still get their discount but it still means double what they pay now and they have to worry about whether a motorway is going to run right round Britains best kept village to lead to a bridge that will have to be high enough to accomodate gigantic ships from the new super port.
Stephen, in this interview, seems resigned to the fact that the tolls are never going away and instead looks at alternatives such as cameras used for the London Congestion charge as a means of speeding traffic flow.
We will ask him again for more news next month