End of the road for Dartford Crossing payment booths
- Credit: PA
The Highways Agency has announced that registration for pre-pay accounts will open well in advance of these changes.
The full benefits of the scheme will be delivered by the end of next April when all changes to the road layout will be completed.
The website, systems and infrastructure needed to operate these new arrangements have been installed and are currently being tested to ensure that they operate reliably and are easy to use.
The timetable will ensure that drivers have enough notice to prepare for the changes and that the system is fully tested before it is introduced.
You will no longer pay at the barriers – instead you can make one-off payments:
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Via a payzone retail outlet.
This is known as remote payment and will help reduce congestion at the crossing. The new scheme is called Dart Charge. The crossing will still be free to use the crossing between 10pm and 6am.
If you don't want to set up a pre-pay account you can register your payment details. Payment will then be taken automatically when you use the crossing. The Highways Agency will publish details of how to register for this service closer to the time.
You can make one-off payments using the payment methods outlined above. Payment can be made in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.
Once Dart Charge is introduced work will then begin to remove the payment booths and introduce the new road layout.
Highways Agency project leader Nigel Gray said: 'Dart Charge is a massive change for drivers using the Dartford Crossing and it's only right that it is thoroughly tested before being introduced.
'We want to help drivers to be ready for the improvements we're making at the crossing. That's why we are saying that Dart Charge will start during late November. We can reassure drivers that we'll give them plenty of notice before the changes are introduced.
'They will have considerable time to sign up for a pre-pay account, which for most will be the easiest and cheapest way to pay the charge – with discounts of up to a third on every crossing.'
Until Dart Charge goes live, the current payment arrangements for the road-user charge at the crossing will continue – cash at the crossing, through a Dart-Tag or local residents account.
You can find out more information and subscribe for updates on Dart Charge at the website at www.gov.uk/highways/dartford