The Highways Agency brought in a new system for paying the Dartford Crossing charge from 6am on November 30th 2014. Dart Charge has been introduced in an attempt to help ease congestion at the crossing.
Instead of paying the charge at the toll barriers, drivers are asked to pay in advance, or before midnight the day after their crossing. Those who do not manage to pay will face a penalty fee. The Dartford Crossing remains free for vehicles crossing between 10pm and 6am.
Drivers who had a DART-Tag account were contacted by the Highways Agency in September, October and November with instructions on how to transfer to a new Dart Charge account without losing any credit. Local residents living in either Dartford or Thurrock are still be able to get a discount on the charge.
Vehicles that were exempt from paying the charge at the Dartford Crossing continue to be exempt from December and the Highways Agency has plans to eventually be able to automatically identify such vehicles.
Drivers with a Dart Charge account are able to register multiple vehicles with that account and are eligible for a substantial saving on crossings of up to a third. Dart Charge account holders have the ability to top up accounts manually or automatically by direct debit, or a debit or credit card.
As you may have seen, five gantries have been put in place (two at the entrances to the Dartford Tunnel and three on the QEII Bridge) which have the signage, cameras and detection equipment necessary for the scheme to work. Safety systems have also been improved throughout the tunnels. Temporary road layouts and roadworks are expected from time to time until the changes are due to be completed by spring 2015.
For further information and to set up an account online drivers can visit www.gov.uk/dart-charge, call 0300 300 0120 or write to Dart Charge Customer Services, PO Box 842, Leeds LS1 9QF.