Dartford toll fee set to rise
28 October 2010
Dartford QE2 bridge
The fee for using the Dartford Crossing looks likely to rise after the announcement late last month of public consultation into increasing the charge to £2 per car in April 2011 and again to £2.50 12 months later.
The consultation will take place later this year, and will also see prices for larger vehicles rise. The Government has though announced it is no longer seeking to sell the crossing, due to its "strategic importance".
The Highways Agency is also drawing up guidelines for a new initiative that would see the toll barriers opened in times of "severe congestion". The criteria for what constitutes severe enough congestion to necessitate letting drivers through for free in the wake of an incident is yet to be established.
The AA branded the toll increase as "highway robbery". It claimed the price hikes mean the government has reneged on its promise to drop the tolls when the crossing was paid for.
AA president Edmund King said: "The hike in tolls is an act of highway robbery as these tolls should have been dropped - not doubled in two years."
It added that capital expenditure on transport would fall 11% following the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review and pointed out that 93% of passenger journeys as well as the bulk of freight rely on road transport, which, it claimed, is vital to stimulating the economic recovery. Despite this, the AA said the Government had cut important schemes on the A47, A19, A21 and A14.
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