So it appears that I am behind the times and have had my head in the sand, as I only just realised at the weekend that the cost of using the Dartford Crossing between Kent and Essex has increased. There I was with my £1.50, when I saw signs saying cars cost £2!
It appears that it still remains free for motorcyclists or any vehicle using the crossing between 22:00 and 06:00 but the cost for cars has increased by 50p and a hefty £1.30 for heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s).
Road Minister Mr Hammond said: “What we are now doing is using the money that this raises to invest in the free-flowing (automated barriers) which will alleviate congestion and indeed looking at the other sort of transport infrastructure improvement that we want to put in place.”
However, if electronic charging is introduced in 2014 as planned, with vehicles not having to stop at barriers, the cost will increase even further. With the cost for cars set to rise to £2.50, 2 axle goods vehicles having to pay £3 and HGV’s £6.
The Labour leader for Thurrock Council, John Kent said: “I think the increase is entirely unjustifiable…there would be an outcry if we put up parking charges by that much.”
Local businesses are also against the new price plan, saying that it is unfair that local residents should receive discounts and not them. Chris Smart who is a Dartford-based haulier said that local hauliers and businesses within the local area should also benefit from sizeable discounts.
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