Dartford Crossing toll charges to rise on 7 October

The QE2 Thames bridge Dartford River Crossing
Image caption Electronic charging is due to be introduced in 2014

An increase in road toll charges at the river crossing between Kent and Essex, which were announced earlier this year, will take effect from Sunday 7 October.

From 06:00 BST, drivers of cars and 2 axle goods vehicles will pay 50p more to use the Dartford-Thurrock crossing.

Heavy goods vehicles will cost an extra £1.30, while the crossing will remain free for motorcyclists.

Discounts will continue for local residents and DART-Tag account holders who pay in advance.

Any vehicle using the crossing between 22:00 and 06:00 will continue to do so for free.

Cash payments at the crossing will increase from £1.50 to £2.00 for cars, from £2.00 to £2.50 for 2 axle goods vehicles, and from £3.70 to £5.00 for heavy goods vehicles.

'New crossing'

Electronic charging, which means vehicles will not have to stop, will be introduced in 2014, when the charge for cars will rise to £2.50. Drivers of 2 axle goods vehicles will also have to pay £3.00, and £6.00 for heavy goods vehicles.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: "The Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing is a vital piece of transport infrastructure, but upgrades need to be made. To do that, we need to start planning now for the future.

"That's why we are introducing free-flow charging by the autumn 2014 and currently analysing the options for a new crossing in the Lower Thames area.

"We have listened carefully to what people have said, which is why charges that were meant to be implemented towards the end of last year have been delayed until now."

Mr Penning said the money raised would help "prioritise investment for much needed improvements to increase capacity and reduce journey times".

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