Government proposes Dartford Crossing price hike
The proposed charge increases have been announced by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning as part of plans to tackle congestion at the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing and invest in major improvements.
Mike Penning said: 'The Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing is a vital piece of transport infrastructure that has brought huge economic benefits and opportunities to the country. But the simple fact is many more motorists want to use the Crossing than it was designed for and this leads to frequent lengthy delays, frustration and damage to the economy.
Under the proposal, charges would increase for cars from £1.50 to £2.00 in late 2011 and to £2.50 in spring 2012. For 2 axle goods vehicles charges would go up from £2.00 to £2.50 in late 2011 and to £3.00 in spring 2012. For heavy goods vehicles they would increase from £3.70 to £5.00 in late 2011 and to £6.00 in spring 2012.
The public consultation on the charges will run until Friday 23 September.
The Minister also confirmed that the Highways Agency is to start a six-month trial of operational changes to suspend Dartford Crossing charges in the event of severe traffic jams to help traffic flow.
He said: 'I understand how frustrating it is when an emergency incident causes major delays around the crossing. That is why from tomorrow the Highways Agency will trial new operational guidelines for suspending charges to help traffic flow when congestion is particularly severe.'