Cost of crossing by car rises to £2.50 as freeflow charging introduced
From Sunday the toll booths at the Dartford crossings will be removed and drivers will have to pay online or by phone.
Use of the two northbound tunnels and the southbound QEII Bridge will be monitored by ANPR cameras.
The change is part of efforts to reduce traffic jams at one of the most congested parts of the motorway network.
But at the same time the charge for a single car crossing will rise from £2 to £2.50. This is after a previous rise from £1.50 to £2 in October 2012.
Already the government is consulting on where a new lower Thames crossing should go.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“The crossing is the motorway bottleneck of Europe and routinely sees traffic volumes way above the maximum design capacity.
“We welcome the changes but they are not coming cheap. Charges are being hiked and car drivers will pay a quarter more for the privilege of faster journeys. At the same time operating costs will be about three times what they were when the booths were there. However the benefits in quicker journeys are predicted to be huge.
“The relief might be short lived though. Officials predict motorway traffic in the South East of England will rise by about 25% in the next decade. Already ministers are considering where a third Lower Thames crossing should go to ease the growing pressure on the existing bridge and tunnels. At the very least the extra money raised from higher tolls should go towards building it.”
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
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Notes to editors:
The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist.
The RAC Foundation is a registered charity, number 1002705.