UKIP have been the big winners in local council elections in Essex, gaining six seats in Thurrock to tie as the biggest party there.
M25: Free-Flowing Crossing Tolls In 2014
Free-flowing tolls are going to be introduced on the Dartford Crossing next year.
It will mean drivers won't have to stop at barriers to pay the toll for using the Crossing. Instead, motorists will be able to pay through a series of other methods such as by phone, text message, online and at certain shops.
As many as 150,000 vehicles use the Crossing each day and it seen as crucial to Essex's economic prosperity.
The Roads Minister, Stephen Hammond, said: "The Dartford Crossing is vital to the local and national economy and introducing free-flow technology will cut congestion and improve journeys for the thousands of motorists and businesses who use the Crossing every day.
"We are now able to take forward the legislation to make sure charges will be able to be effectively enforced once free-flow charging at the Crossing is introduced next year."
Nigel Gray, Highways Agency senior project manager, said: "The Crossing continues to bring huge benefits to the economy, which is one of the reasons why there is such a demand.
"We are grateful to all those who responded to each consultation and we remain on track to introduce a free-flow charging arrangement in October 2014."
Drivers will be encouraged to pay before they use the Crossing, but if they don't they will have up to midnight on the following day.
There will be a £70 penalty charge for not paying, but that will be reduced to £35 if you pay it within 14 days. If it is not paid within 28 days, the charge increases to £105.
Three people are being treated for serious injuries after a crash on the A127 near Brentwood.
England Test captain Alastair Cook has signed a new two-year contract at Essex.
A man from Grays has been charged with making indececnt images of children.
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