Sunday, November 27, 2022

Council leader anger as Oct 7th date set for Dartford tolls hike

THE LEADER of Thurrock Council has reacted angrily to the news the government has confirmed the Thames crossing tolls will be going up on October 7th.

Cllr John Kent, said: “I have never made a secret of my opposition to the tolls themselves, let along increasing them, and now the government has announced it will be going ahead with its plans.

“Before detailing why I think this is a bad idea, I want to make an appeal to every single Thurrock motorist who uses the crossing – apply for your discount now.

“Next month every other car driver will be handing over £2 each trip, you need only fork out 20p. Apply now, please.”

He added: “In Thurrock we are starting on a journey of regeneration, we are aiming to bring thousands of new jobs to our borough, yet we are supposed to do this while the cost of using the crossing rockets – up 50p in October and a total of £1 later.

“That’s not encouraging regeneration, growth and business, but it is making the council’s job of persuading businesses to come here more difficult than it needs to be.”

Cllr Kent said: “Last week I was disappointed the government was putting a four-year timescale on crossing improvements in infrastructure and technology, without a start date.

“Now it is made worse still. Not only do we have to wait for the improvements and free-flow tolling, but we have to pay extra for the privilege as well.

“Mr Penning’s announcement on Tuesday confirms we will have to wait at least two years for the free-flow technology alone and I have major doubts on the government’s ability to meet that deadline.”

Details of charges

From 06:00 BST, drivers of cars and 2 axle goods vehicles will pay 50p more to use the Dartford-Thurrock crossing.

Heavy goods vehicles will cost an extra £1.30, while the crossing will remain free for motorcyclists.

Discounts will continue for local residents and DART-Tag account holders who pay in advance.

Any vehicle using the crossing between 22:00 and 06:00 will continue to do so for free.

Cash payments at the crossing will increase from £1.50 to £2.00 for cars, from £2.00 to £2.50 for 2 axle goods vehicles, and from £3.70 to £5.00 for heavy goods vehicles.

Electronic charging, which means vehicles will not have to stop, will be introduced in 2014, when the charge for cars will rise to £2.50. Drivers of 2 axle goods vehicles will also have to pay £3.00, and £6.00 for heavy goods vehicles.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: “The Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing is a vital piece of transport infrastructure, but upgrades need to be made. To do that, we need to start planning now for the future.

“That’s why we are introducing free-flow charging by the autumn 2014 and currently analysing the options for a new crossing in the Lower Thames area.

“We have listened carefully to what people have said, which is why charges that were meant to be implemented towards the end of last year have been delayed until now.”

Mr Penning said the money raised would help “prioritise investment for much needed improvements to increase capacity and reduce journey times”.

6 COMMENTS

  1. This is now getting repetative and boring, both Cllr Kent and Polly Billington MP are riding the political bandwaggon, they have quickly forgotten how their own party did very little to reverse or reduce the Dartford Tolls whilst they were in power and able to do so.

    I am quite surprised that both of these are not sufering from vertigo with the amount of spinning they do

  2. I am very angered that the Thurrock Council Leader Cllr. J.Kent and Polly Billington MP, seem to miss the point entirely, what they seem to forget is this isnt a new problem, its been on going since the 70’s well over thirty years, the motorists and haulage contractors have been promised that when the cost of the new tunnel as been made the tolls would be lifted, then it was once the QE2 bridge was paid for then they would take the tolls away, and surprise suprise we have still got them, and they are set to increase, just after the Olympic games are ended dont want foreign nationals to know what the british government imposes on its tax paying motorists, do we Mr.j.Kent, every government has made promises that dont intend to keep regarding this fiasco called the Dartford Crossing, there have multi million pounds spent on improvements to the M25 up to Junction 30 (A13), the people living close to the motorway as put up with constant noise whilst the improvements took place, now we are told that, the Highways Agency has got to improve Junction 30 because of the new super port, which is good news, but it wont be started until nearly two years after the super port as opened, so during the two years that we have to all wait for the improvements to be made, does it mean that the A13 going towards London and Junction 30 is going to be grid locked for most of the day, because that part of the A13/M25 cannot cope with the volumes of traffic at the moment, so how will stand up to the big increase its going to have to bear, before they improve the Junction in 2014, then how long will it take, Six Months-Two years, just look what happened to Sadlers Farm Roundabout on the A13/A130 at Benfleet, I feel it is time to stop all the moaning about what you havent got the power to alter, and get on with what you can do, and that is bring forward the important works on Junction 30 by Two years, then perhaps, then perhaps you can have your Pie in the sky dream, of a business park with your name on it.

  3. As a DART-TAG user, I received a letter from the Highways Agency explaining that they had decided to keep charging for 2 reasons: to allow them to deliver future improvements, and to manage demand for the crossing’s use. If I read this correctly, they have put the charge up partly in order to dissuade people from using the crossing?
    The good news for all DART-TAG holders is that there is no increase in charges for them.

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