The Dartford Crossing
Labour has always argued that scrapping the tolls at the Crossing will never happen under any government given the great need to improve the local and regional road network. This began first with the rebuilding of the A2/M25 Darenth Interchange and with the widening of the A2 from there to Cobham in nearby Gravesham.
However Dartford’s key priority should be to reduce the congestion at the crossing by building the Lower Thames Crossing to the east of Gravesend. In the meantime Labour introduced the Dartford Residents Discount Scheme whereby local users can cross for 20p instead of the current price of £1-50 after an initial payment of £10 has been exhausted. This represents great value for money for regular users who travel to and from Essex either for work, shopping or to visit family and friends. Not surprisingly the new Tory MP’s pledge to get rid of the tolls fell upon deaf ears and has collapsed completely. Not only has his government said no but one of its first acts was to raise the tolls to £2-00 this year and to £2-50 next year! The best they could offer was to resurrect Labour’s scheme to replace the toll booths with new camera technology which allows vehicles to pass through without having to stop to pay for the crossing, thus helping to reduce significantly one of the major causes of congestion.