Thurrock: River Crossing Toll To Rise

The river crossing toll charge on the M25 at Dartford is to rise in the autumn, the Government announced.

And the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing charge on the M25 will go up again when electronic charging is introduced in autumn 2014.

From October, cash payment for cars using the crossing on the Essex-Kent border will rise from £1.50 to £2.00.

The charge for drivers of light goods vehicles will rise from £2 to £2.50, while heavy goods vehicles will pay £5 - up from £3.70.

Electronic charging, which will mean vehicles will not have to stop to pay, is set to be introduced in October 2014, with the charge for cars going up from the October 2012 charge of £2.00 to £2.50, with light goods vehicles paying £3.00 and heavy goods vehicles having to fork out £6.00.

The crossing will, at present, remain free for motorcyclists, and discounts for local residents and drivers who pay in advance will continue.

Announcing the new charges, Road Minister Mike Penning said work was continuing on analysing options for a new Lower Thames crossing.

He said: "The Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing is a vital piece of transport infrastructure that has brought huge economic benefits to the country but currently it can't meet the growing demands of drivers so we need to plan properly for the longer term."

AA president Edmund King described the price rise, the first since November 2008, as "totally unacceptable", adding: "Drivers have paid for this crossing many times over and hence all tolls should be dropped."

"It is ludicrous to argue that tolls are in place to manage demand - drivers on the M25 do not have the luxury of choosing another crossing and therefore the crossing has a captive market."