New pictures show improved Dartford Crossing
New pictures showing how the Dartford Crossing will look after the introduction of Dart Charge have been released by the Highways Agency. One the left is the Crossing as it is now, and on the right is the Crossing how it will look in future. The images show the striking difference that the congestion-easing project will make to the Crossing with the payment booths removed.
The 27-lane payment plaza will be replaced by four open lanes in each direction and the approach to the tunnels will be enhanced with technology and dedicated extra lanes to help identify and turn away prohibited vehicle types from the tunnels.
Work to remove the payment booths will coincide with Dart Charge going live in late November, and is expected to be complete next spring.
Dart Charge Project Director Nigel Gray said: "It's only when the booths have been removed that the full benefits of Dart Charge will be felt, and we will get underway on this work at the same time that the new payment arrangements begin. It's complicated work - especially on the northbound carriageway, where we need to protect the tunnels - one of which was built in the 1960s and has a lower height restriction - from over-height vehicles. We’ll be completely redesigning the approach to the tunnels to detect and turn around these vehicles and other vehicles not suitable for the tunnels, using a system of signals, barriers and extra lanes, while keeping all other traffic flowing as much as possible.”
Dart Charge will improve journeys at the Dartford Crossing by removing the need for drivers to stop at a barrier to pay the crossing charge. Instead, drivers will be able to pay online, by phone, by post or at one of thousands of Payzone outlets nationwide, either in advance of their journey or by midnight on the day following it. Mopeds, motorcycles, motor tricycles and quadricycles (quad bikes) will still be permitted to use the Crossing for free.
It is part of government plans to improve traffic flow at the vital gateway between Kent and Essex.
Drivers can find out more information and subscribe for updates on Dart Charge via the website here.