The way the Road User Charge is collected at the Dartford Crossing has changed. A new remote payment system has been introduced and there are currently significant works to change the road layout and operation of the Crossing.
The scheme, known as Dart Charge, launched in late November 2014 and means the road user no longer pays at the barrier. Instead payment is made online, over the phone, via a Payzone retail outlet, or by post.
It is still free to use the crossing between 10pm and 6am and the local residents discount scheme has continued. Existing DART-Tag Customers have been able to transfer their accounts easily, and have been contacted by the new charging provider, Sanef.
The new system has helped to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow at the Crossing.
Connect Plus, responsible for the infrastructure and construction works, has enabled Dart Charge to go live. We have managed the installation of the new charging equipment and signage, the removal of the existing charging booths and the reconfiguration of the road layout.
To improve the day-to-day operations of the Crossing, changes have also been made to the way that dangerous goods and over-sized vehicles are processed and directed through the Crossing
As part of these changes, a new, innovative system of detectors, traffic signals and barriers, known as a Traffic Management Cell will be installed on the northbound A282, prior to the Dartford Tunnels. This system identifies non-compliant vehicles, and filters them away from the Crossing to ensure the safety of the tunnels, whilst minimising delays to other Crossing users.
Advanced work to deliver these improvements began in spring 2014. The majority of these works are taking place off the main road network, causing minimal disruption to road users. Where on-road restrictions are required, works are taking place overnight when traffic flows are at their lowest.
Connect Plus has started the main construction works to deliver the large-scale physical changes at the Crossing.
These are significant road works and road users can expect some impact on their journeys over the Crossing, but they are being planned to minimise disruption for road users. We anticipate a greater impact on northbound traffic as the changes required on that carriageway are more complicated.
Barriers at the northbound plazas will continue to be used to manage traffic while we construct the new Traffic Management Cell. Plaza barriers will lift as vehicles approach (as they currently do at night).
During these major road works, it is important to ensure that road users follow all signage on site and comply with speed restrictions and lane guidance, to ensure the safety of themselves, other motorists and road workers, and, to minimise disruption.
To sign up for a Dart Charge account, click here.