Dartford Crossing Remote Payment Scheme
Part of our programme of improvements (generally with value <£10m)
What is happening?
We are introducing a new remote payment system at the Dartford Crossing. This will mean that instead of stopping at the barriers to pay to use the crossing, you will pay in advance or up to midnight on the following day.
When and where is this happening?
We are planning to introduce the new remote payment arrangements in October 2014. Work to change the road layout will follow, and we expect all work on this project to be completed by spring 2015.
The Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing (Dartford Crossing) spans the River Thames between Dartford and Thurrock, approximately 16 miles east of central London, and forms a trunk road link (the A282) in the M25 London orbital motorway.
Why is this happening and what will it cost?
The Dartford crossing is an important part of the strategic road network and forms a gateway to the major ports on the Kent and Essex coasts. It sees around 50 million vehicle crossings each year - higher than it was originally designed to carry. This leads to congestion problems.
Because of this the government has made improving the crossing a priority. Commitments have been made to reduce current levels of congestion and improve traffic flow at the crossing both now and in the future.
In the longer term, options for a third crossing are under consideration, and have been the subject of a Department for Transport (DfT) consultation.
Initial set-up costs for the scheme are estimated to be within the range of £70 million - £88 million. This includes the estimated implementation costs for vehicle detection, charging and enforcement management services and the road infrastructure, traffic management and safety works. It also includes the Highways Agency internal project costs.
The Highways Agency has awarded the main contract for vehicle detection, charging and enforcement management services to sanef. If this contract extends to its maximum term of 10 years the full potential value of the services delivered within it will be up to £367 million. The design and implementation element of this is included in the total set-up cost estimate above.
How will the scheme be carried out?
The introduction of remote payment requires significant changes to the operation of the Dartford Crossing. Due to the extent of the work required, it will not be possible to remove the existing layout immediately following the introduction of remote payment, however, all the work will be carefully planned to cause as little disruption as possible.
In spring 2014 we will start a public information campaign to help everyone understand the changes we will be making. This will include information regarding:
- the transition from the current to the new arrangements.
- how individuals will be able to register for pre-pay accounts or pay the Crossing charge by other means.
- road works at the crossing.
As the scheme progresses we will provide more information.
What are the benefits?
By introducing remote payment, previously known as ‘free-flow charging’, we aim to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow, benefitting road users and the economy.
How do I find out more information ?
More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.
If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing email@example.com or calling 0300 123 5000.
Find out more about the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing.
|pre-construction works commence, including installation of gantries for the new charging equipment in February 2014.||Winter 2013/2014|
|technical go-live, controlled testing and integration; public information campaign.||Spring/Summer 2014|
|new payment methods available for users to pre-book for crossings and set up new accounts, new charging arrangement introduced at the Crossing; post-construction works commence.||Autumn 2014|
|post-construction works completed.||Spring 2015|