Does anyone else feel that its about time for a campaign to abolish, or at least reduce the Dartford Crossing toll fees? If every vehicle that uses the crossing put a sign on their car saying “Ban the toll” the message might get some publicity. £1.50 each way is outrageous. The queues are longer than when it was only £1.00. The pollution that suffocates Thurrock and Dartford is unnecessary. The recent power cut proved that for 6 hours with no tolls the traffic flowed without holdups.
If there was a token charge of 50p, at least that money could be split between Thurrock and Dartford for the benefit of residents. The crossing should be in public ownership, not by some profit-making conglomerate called Connect Plus.
The Highways Agency has announced Connect Plus as the provisional preferred bidder for the £4.5bn M25 DBFO (Design, Finance, Build and Operate contract). The consortium consists of Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Atkins and Egis Projects, was tipped by CJ last month as the project frontrunner. See ContractJournal.com
Further to this, in 2006-07, the Crossing made £47 million profit. That’s obviously not enough for the greedy government. The recent increase in toll charges is bound to bring in bucket loads more. I suppose all this money is going into the money pit of (1) the Olympics, or (2) war in Afghanistan.
What do people think?
As a follow up to this, 22 March 2010, there are now plans to SELL the Dartford Crossing to private companies.
Any sort of sell off will mean higher charges for motorists, more pollution and longer queues. The dream of a free and free-moving crossing looks bleak. At the upcoming General Election, make sure you vote for a candidate who does not support this dire move.