The Dartford - Thurrock River Crossing
Introduction of remote payment
From October 2014 there will be changes to how you pay to use the Dartford crossing. You will no longer stop at the crossing barriers to pay the charge, instead payment will be made:
- via text
- on the phone
- at retail outlets
There is no need to do anything yet.
Current DART-Tag holders will still be able to use their existing DART-Tag when remote payment is introduced and will not lose any credit from their existing accounts. Any remaining funds will either be transferred to the new accounts or refunded, as appropriate. If you need to do anything we will contact you before the changes.
We will be running a public information campaign from spring 2014; this will include further information about the transition process for existing accounts.
Once remote payment is in place you’ll be able to pay in advance of crossing, or up to midnight the day after crossing. You will still be able to save up to a third on every crossing by setting up an account and keeping it topped up. You can top up manually, or automatically as the balance reaches a certain threshold.
The penalty charge for non-payment will be £70, which is discounted to £35 if paid within 14 days. If the penalty charge remains unpaid after 28 days it will increase to £105. New legislation will enable the Highways Agency to enforce the crossing charge. Penalty charges and recovery processes will be used to tackle those who do not pay.
Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme Account 2012–13
The Dartford – Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme account for 2012–13 was published on 23 January 2014. The accounts set out details of the receipts collected and the costs incurred in operating and maintaining the crossing, and the associated assets and liabilities.
Currently the crossing charge can be paid by stopping at the barriers. Full details of charges, payment methods and discount schemes can be found on the DART-Tag website.
- Cars with a DART-Tag can use all lanes. Twin-axle and multi-axle vehicles with a DART-tag need to use the wider staffed lanes (1–9 northbound and 15–23 southbound).
- Euro notes — NOT coins — are accepted at the booths. Any change due is given in UK Sterling. No other currencies are accepted.
The charging regime at the Dartford-Thurrock river crossing came into effect on 1 April 2003. This followed a study that suggested the use of the crossing would grow more rapidly if there were no charge, resulting in an increased negative impact on the local community and users of the Crossing.
After taking maintenance and improvements into account, revenues from the crossing must by law be spent on transport.
View the road user charging legislation:
- A282 Trunk Road (Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme) Order 2008
- A282 Trunk Road (Dartford– Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme) Order 2002
- A282 Trunk Road (Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme) Order 2013
The charges can currently be suspended on a case by case basis, as part of the government’s commitment to ease traffic flow at the crossing. Suspensions can occur where there has been or is likely to be an emergency situation:
- where continuous queues of stationary or slow moving traffic travelling under 10 mph extend back — or have the potential to extend back — to the junctions 4 or 28 of the M25 or beyond
- where the suspension of the charge would ease the congestion and assist in managing the emergency situation
You can view the Crossing charging – suspension protocol to read about the operational arrangements in greater detail.
Cyclists are prohibited from riding across the bridge or through the tunnels. However the Crossing staff will arrange for you to be transported from one side to the other free of charge.
Northbound cyclists should head to the Kent Control Point. Southbound cyclists should dismount at the Essex control point — a free call telephone is provided should this point be unattended. The transfer should take 15 to 30 minutes.
If you are riding a tandem or travelling as a group it is advisable to make prior arrangements by contacting the Crossing.
Motorcyclists receive free passage. However, it is still necessary for all motorcycles to stop at the staffed booths and wait for confirmation from the collector that it is ok to continue through the barrier.
The Dartford-Thurrock river crossing – strong winds protocolis in place to ensure the users of the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) bridge are protected against an accident caused by high winds on this high exposed structure.
With effect from January 2010 the Dartford tunnels are classed as Category C under the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). Find out more about transporting dangerous goods.
For further details of abnormal load charges please see the charging schedule leaflet.