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.
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.
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.
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: