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Dart Charge launch date finally revealed

PUBLISHED: 16:46 05 November 2014 | UPDATED: 16:46 05 November 2014

Dartford Crossing

Dartford Crossing

Archant

Changes to way motorists will pay for crossing

The way drivers pay the Dartford Crossing charge will change on November 30, the Highways Agency confirmed today.

The new payment arrangements - known as Dart Charge - will help reduce congestion and ease traffic flow at the Crossing as drivers will no longer stop to pay at the barriers. The last cash payment will be taken at the Crossing around 10pm on November 29.

From 6am on November 30 drivers will have more flexibility about when and how they pay the charge, paying either in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.

Payment can be made online, by phone, by post or at one of thousands of payzone retail outlets.

A website where drivers can register for a pre-pay account – and save up to a third on every crossing from November 30 - opened to the public today.

Highways Agency project manager, Nigel Gray said: “I am pleased to confirm that Dart Charge will be introduced at the Dartford Crossing on Sunday 30 November. Dart Charge will help speed up journeys so it’s great news for the tens of thousands of drivers who use the Crossing every day and for the economy.

“From today drivers can set up a pre-pay account and get a discount on every crossing once the new payment arrangements begin.”

From this morning the website where drivers can set up their pre-pay account - www.gov.uk/dart-charge - has been open to the public.

The Highways Agency will be contacting existing DART-Tag customers to explain how to transfer to a new Dart Charge account and continue to get discounts on crossings.

Malcolm Bingham, head of road network management policy at the Freight Transport Association said: “The payment booths cause significant congestion at the Dartford Crossing so we welcome the introduction of Dart Charge.

“The quicker journey times means reduced costs so this is good news for the freight industry. We will be encouraging all our members to sign up for pre-pay accounts so they can benefit from discounts on every crossing made.”

The charge to use the Crossing will also increase from November 30, and the crossing will remain free between 10pm and 6am and the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme remains in place.

Work to remove the payment booths and introduce a new road layout will begin at the end of November to coincide with Dart Charge launching and will be substantially completed by the end of April 2015, which is when drivers will feel the full benefits of the improvements. All road works are being planned to minimise disruption.

To make one-off payments online, go to www.gov.uk/dart-charge, by phone on 0300 300 0120, by post to PO Box 842, Leeds, LS1 9QF or at one of thousands of Payzone retail outlets

Alternatively, you can set up a pre-pay account now and receive savings of up to one-third on every crossing made during the charging hours (6am – 10pm) from November 30.

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