Published: 08:28, 22 November 2019
| Updated: 08:29, 22 November 2019
Labour has said that it would review tolls paid by motorists on the Dartford Crossing if it formed the next government.
The party made the pledge in its manifesto, saying it would examine all toll roads in the country.
However, it stopped short of proposing to scrap the charges altogether. Motorist groups have welcomed the possibility of a review.
The Dartford crossing is by far the busiest of all ten river crossings and the government recently announced charges would remain indefinitely in spite of promises they would be scrapped.
Labour’s announcement may wellprove popular with motorists although it has not indicatedwhat its position would be on the new third crossing.
The bridge and tunnel is used by around 160,000 vehicles a day and is often heavily congested.
It costs £2.50 per crossing for cars and is policed by automatic number plate recognition cameras to catch those trying to evade charges.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said the motoring group would welcome a review of tolls on crossings.
"The AA has consistently called on the Government to scrap the Dartford Crossing tolls as the building costs of the original scheme were paid off 15 years ago and under previous government commitments should have been abolished then,” he said.
"It is a complete travesty that tolls have been lifted for drivers going into Wales and across Scotland and yet millions still have to pay the Dartford toll. Nobody uses the Dartford Crossing for the fun of it so this toll should be the first to be abolished.”
Fees were increased when tolls were scrapped and free-flow charging, known as the 'Dart Charge' was introduced in 2014.
Following the government’s announcement in October, Dartford MP Gareth Johnson said: “l am in regular contact with officials at the Department for Transport over this issue and they are in no doubt the people of Dartford feel strongly that we should not be paying anything for using the crossing let alone suffer any increase.”
More by this authorPaul Francis