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Government pressed over Dartford crossing profits

CLLR RICHARD KING:"We should be getting cash, not permission to borrow"
CLLR RICHARD KING:"We should be getting cash, not permission to borrow"

COUNTY councillors have renewed their call for Kent to get more money from the Dartford crossing, saying it would help ease a chronic backlog of road repairs and help fund vital new transport links.

Kent County Council’s Conservative administration says ministers have reneged on a pledge to allow Kent more money once the construction costs of the crossing had been paid off and have warned the county risks permanent gridlock without a major injection of funds.

The council is demanding that the full £25million annual profit be handed to Kent and Essex to share between them.

To date, the government has told Kent that it will be allowed to “borrow” just £1million against the profits raised, a sum KCC says is woefully inadequate to address its needs.

The authority says that a £25million backlog of road repairs could be cleared much more quickly while extra cash could be invested in long-awaited road schemes.

KCC cabinet member for transport Cllr Richard King said: “It is completely ridiculous that we have been promised part of the revenue from the crossing but we only ever get 'borrowing power.’ We should be getting cash, not permission to borrow.

"Our road repair backlog will cost us £25million a year over a ten-year period. Anything less and we will not be addressing the problem. The work is vital and has to be done.”

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