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Brace yourselves for Dartford toll hike

Dartford crossing
Dartford crossing

Drivers are gearing up for another increase in tolls for the Dartford Crossing this weekend.
Despite a successful campaign run by the Messenger that delayed the introduction of the latest round of rises, the Department of Transport is putting up charges from Sunday.

And this is only the first of a two-stage increase with the tolls going up to £2.50 for car drivers and in October 2014.
Car drivers will have to pay £2 - a 33% increase in the present charges. Bigger vehicles like lorries and coaches will have to pay £5 (an increase of £1.30 over the present charge).
Freight operators were quick to condemn the new fees saying it would hit shoppers.
“These charges will put up the costs for the lorry owners, who will pass them on to us, and we in turn will have to put the prices up for the general public,” said a transport manager at one of the many freight-forwarding companies based next to the Crossing on the Crossways Business Park.
Cllr Jeremy Kite (Con), leader of Dartford council said: "It is not the cost - it is the principle. Nobody takes the Dartford Crossing as a leisure trip: everyone has to use it.”
Gareth Johnson (Con), the Dartford MP, has fought in the House of Commons to get the tolls scrapped.
“They should be dropped,” he said.
“It is wrong what is happening.”
The government has promised to replace the toll gates with automatic charging systems.
However, more than two years on, the old toll gates continue to be used.
For a full report on the increases - see Thursday’s Messenger.

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