The Department for Transport has announced measures to improve traffic flows across the Dartford River Crossing. In a statement issued alongside the Comprehensive Spending Review it was revealed that the Department will embark on an assessment of the options for future capacity increases at Dartford, funded by toll charges. In the interim, free flow charging will be introduced from 2012 and charges will be lifted at times of severe congestion.
At the same time it has been announced that charges for the Crossing will be increased. Subject to consultation, prices for cars would go up from the current £1.50 to £2.00 in 2011, rising to £2.50 in 2012. There would also be increases for other vehicles.
Commenting James Brokenshire said:
"As someone who has campaigned for improvements at the Crossing for several years, I welcome the news that action will finally be taken to ease congestion. Having been stuck in the jams too often myself I know just how frustrating using the QE2 Bridge or the tunnels can be. We need additional capacity as well as interim measures to deal with one of the worst traffic bottle-necks in the country. Today's announcement will start to deliver much needed change.
"Of course increases in toll prices won't be greeted by car horns of approval. No-one wants to see Crossing charges being increased. But that's the sad reality of the economic situation the country finds itself in after the mis-management of the previous government. Motorists can also know that toll charges will help pay for work on the much needed improvements to their journeys across the Thames."