08/02/2008

Discount to Dartford coming in the autumn

Posted in Transport at 7:49 pm by henrysgauntlet

Today has seen the long-awaited announcement of discounted travel  at the Dartford River Crossing for local residents, ie those living in Thurrock and Dartford.
                   
The discount will be nearly 90% of the increased toll charge, but it is not as simple as that.

To get the discount, local residents will have to register, and that will cost  £10 each year.   Then they will get 50 free journeys, and crossings above that number will cost only 20p.    At the same time, next autumn, the toll charge for all other car drivers will increase from £1 to £1.50, so a 50% increase, although DART-Tag users will still pay £1.  

The Freight Transport Association, though, has pointed out that the discount will apply only to local car drivers, and not local commercial vehicle drivers, so local businesses will be penalized.   As they say, local businesses use the crossing every day to collect and deliver to addresses across the Thames, but will have to pay the full toll, despite their key contribution to the local economy. 

There will be a twelve-week consultation period before the new charging regime starts. 

This is excellent news for commuters, who use the crossing every day to get to and from work, as their travel costs will be greatly reduced.

Not such good news for those residents who might only cross the bridge or drive through the tunnel once or twice a year.    It would not be worth their while to pay out £10 registration, so they will need to pay the full toll for their few journeys  –  no discount for them.

Having said that  –  and I realize I am in the minority in thinking this  –  I don’t particularly object to paying a toll to cross a bridge/tunnel.   It does occur at other crossings. 

        
            
 

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