Tolls to use the Dartford Crossing are to rise by a third, with the extra revenue paying for the planned installation of barrier-less toll gates.
From October 2012, cash charges for car users will increase by 50p to £2, with proportionate increases for other vehicles. Funding from the charge increase will help to pay for free-flow electronic charging – a time-saving device that the government hopes will cut congestion.
Roads minister Mike Penning announced the changes and also confirmed work continues on analysing the options for a new Lower Thames crossing, following the commitment made in the Autumn Statement.
“The Dartford Crossing is a vital piece of transport infrastructure that has brought huge economic benefits to the country. But currently it can’t meet the growing demands of drivers so we need to plan properly for the longer term,” said Penning. “That’s why we’ve given a commitment not only to introduce free-flow charging by the autumn 2014 but also to build a new crossing in the Lower Thames area.