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New discount scheme for people who live near the Dartford Crossing comes into force this weekend

27 February 2014
by Messenger Reporter

A new discount scheme for people who live near the Dartford Crossing comes into force this weekend.

Toll booths at the Dartford Crossing

Toll booths are going at the Dartford Crossing

From Saturday, people already registered with the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme, and those eligible to register, will be able to make unlimited trips over the crossing for £20 a year.

It means they could pay as little as 5p per trip.

Anyone who lives in the Dartford area who privately owns a two-axle vehicle is eligible.

Those who make fewer trips – less than 100 crossings a year – will still be able to use the existing scheme which costs £10 for 50 trips a year and 20p for each crossing thereafter.

Current charges are £2 for cars, £2.50 for two-axle vehicles and £5 for lorries.

Also, in a move to cut bureaucracy, people will only have to send in their vehicle documentation every two years, rather than annually.

The changes were announced by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin last September.

Existing account holders and new applicants will need to make a fresh application to join.

You can join at any time by completing the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme application form which, along with the full terms and conditions of the new scheme, is available at the Customer Centre, Crossing Offices or at the Information Point at the Crossing Offices. The form can also be downloaded from the DART-Tag website.

Applicants will need to provide proof of residence within the Dartford boundary and proof of vehicle ownership.

People not eligible for the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme can apply to join the DART-Tag scheme and receive discounts every time they use the crossing. This is open to all road users.

The way in which all other drivers pay will change from October.

Under the new free-flow or ‘remote payment’ system, drivers will no longer pay the charge at a barrier. Instead they will have to pay online, by text message, at several stores, or by phone.

Drivers who do not pay the charge will face a penalty.

It will still be free to use the crossing between 10pm and 6am.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson welcomed the changes.

Mr Johnson said: “It is pleasing that we have some good news on the Dartford Crossing for a change.

“This is the first time that local small businesses will be given any kind of assistance. Once the registration fee is paid then cars and light goods vehicles, belonging to Dartford residents, can use the crossing as many times as they like each year without further charge. This is a big improvement on the current charging system.

“In October we will have further good news with the actual removal of the booths and a free flow system being used instead.”

Overnight work to upgrade the safety barrier on the northbound A282 at the Dartford Crossing is due to begin on Sunday.

The work will be carried out north of the western bore of the tunnel and is due to finish on the morning of Friday, March 28.

All work will take place between 8.30pm and 5.30am, Sunday to Thursday, and traffic will be able to use the eastern bore. No work will take place on Fridays or Saturdays.

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