Dartford Crossing woes could be lessened with new technology

TRAFFIC woes at the Dartford Crossing could be eased in 2016 with the help of technology.

That’s the view of Dartford MP (Con) Gareth Johnson after visiting the crossing’s control centre as part of his campaign to cut its bumper-to-bumper queues.

Speaking after his meeting with officials from Highways England, responsible for maintaining motorways and major A-roads, Mr Johnson told Kent On-line that up to 170,000 vehicles a day are trying to use the tunnels that were designed for 140,000.

Mr Johnson said: "The approach to the Dartford Crossing, including the QEII bridge

“Highways England is accepting it needs to do more to tackle the congestion and they are working on ways of improving traffic flow."

"One idea includes using the latest technology to synchronise the traffic lights at the roundabouts of Junction 1a, and the Blue Star roundabout. This could come into effect in the new year.

“The slip road used by traffic from Bob Dunn Way on to the crossing approach causes huge traffic problems for people locally and needs to be improved."

He added that Highways England were in talks with oil refineries in Essex to try to reduce tanker movements at peak times.

Mr Johnson added: “I am determined to keep pushing them [Highways England] to deal with the congestion. Drivers are also facing frustration over the current roadworks in Essex, just north of the tunnels.

“Unfortunately, this is going to have a significant impact on traffic flow until the work is completed in 2016. The reality is there’s no silver bullet to solve the problem.

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