The Dartford - Thurrock River Crossing

Intro­duc­tion of remote pay­ment: Dart Charge

From Octo­ber 2014 there will be changes to how you pay to use the Dart­ford cross­ing . You will no longer pay at the bar­ri­ers, instead you’ll be able to pay in advance, or up to mid­night the day after crossing.

Exist­ing arrange­ments and DART-Tag

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.

Rea­son for the toll

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.

Charge sus­pen­sion

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 trav­el­ing 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.

Strong winds

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.

Dan­ger­ous Goods

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.


Down­load the EETS (Euro­pean Elec­tronic Tolling Ser­vice) Domain State­ment.

Abnor­mal Loads

For fur­ther details of abnor­mal load charges please see the charg­ing sched­ule leaflet.

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.

View the road user charg­ing legislation: