Essex: Call to scrap tolls at Dartford Crossing to reduce congestion

Should the tolls be scrapped?

Should the tolls be scrapped? - Credit: PA

Essex’s highways boss has called on the Department of Transport to stop charging drivers to use existing Dartford crossings if it is serious about cutting traffic congestion in the area.

Cabinet member for highways and transportation at Essex County Council, councillor Rodney Bass, says the toll booths at Dartford are the main cause of traffic hold-ups for vehicles making the short trip over the Thames between Essex and Kent.

He said: “The Department of Transport has said it is considering options for a third Thames crossing to cut congestion. But, at the moment, the biggest cause of congestion are the toll booths.

“The County Council is therefore calling for tolls at the existing crossing point to be removed with immediate effect. This will allow the motorway to flow freely, and to fulfil its existing function as a national distributor of business and domestic traffic, crucial to the prosperity of Essex and the south-east of England.

He added: “At the very least they should only place the toll booths in one direction, like they do when you cross over into Wales, working on the basis that you will come back at some point.”