The existing Dartford crossings consists of four traffic lanes in each direction, the same as the proposed widening contract due to start in 2008 (NCE last week).
The tailbacks and flow restrictions at the Dartford tunnels and the QE2 Bridge are at due to the slowing down of traffic, halting and payment at the toll booths. If the vehicles were to maintain their normal speed the tailback problems would be eliminated.
There is also a safety aspect as there are many minor accidents cause by traffic slowing down and weaving to get from four lanes to the numerous toll booths and then back down to the four lanes of the tunnels. There are similar problems approaching and leaving the tolls from the bridge.
Surely it is more costefficient to remove these constrictions and forego the £70M annual toll revenue, rather than spend £1bn on an additional crossing. This would also be more environmentally friendly as the traffic speeds would be constant, there would be less air pollution and journey times would be reduced.
Robin Ashford (M ret), email@example.com