Scrap the tolls’

PUBLISHED: 18:01 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 25 August 2010

MPs have vowed to lobby government until tolls that cause misery for thousands of commuters are scrapped.

MPs have vowed to lobby government until tolls that cause misery for thousands of commuters are scrapped.

In a public show of solidarity MPs from Bromley, Bexleyheath and Gravesham met close to the Dartford River Crossing last Friday.

They condemned the government's plan to exclude their constituents from a discount scheme restricted to Thurrock and Dartford residents, who will get 50 free crossings a year and then a 90 per cent discount.

They were joined by the Freight Transport Association and heads of the Kent Association of British Drivers, whose members say they are "sick and tired" of being stuck in tailbacks caused by toll booths.

Gravesham MP Adam Holloway said the government must hold a one-week trial without tolls to assess the impact on traffic flow and pollution.

He added: "This charging may have worked 20 years ago but it doesn't work now. It's a waste of people's time being stuck in queues day after day.

"For people who live outside Dartford borough it is just another tax."

Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett said: "The current system is unfair and we will not let this go until the tolls are scrapped.

"Last year we put questions to the government in parliament but our demands have fallen on deaf ears. We have been let down."

They believe the 2004 Babtie report, Getting the most out of the Dartford Crossing, is not objective because it was drawn up by those who have a stake in the crossing.

Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill said the government's transport policy in relation to charges across south east London and north Kent showed a lack of consistency.

He added: "There is a lack of joined-up thinking. A lot of my constituents rely on the crossing. It is part of their local network but we are not seeing a fair level of investment.

"This area is crucial to the Thames Gateway project and deserves a better deal."

Roger Lawson, chairman of Bromley Borough Roads Action Group, said it was "ridiculous" for the government to say the tolls reduce traffic flows. He added: "Traffic is free flowing either side of the M25 until you approach the crossing.

"Pollution affects Dartford significantly. It's one of the worst affected areas on the whole M25."

FTA regional policy manager Natalie Chapman said delays were costing businesses millions of pounds a year, which consumers have to pay.

Gravesham Borough Council has given its support to the campaign but has suggested the test be extended to a month.

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman said: "Charges at the Dartford Crossing help tackle congestion and were introduced after consultation, having been agreed in parliament. Revenues from the crossing are invested in public transport. Traffic demand on the Dartford Crossing is growing. We have no plans to remove the charges, but we do accept that at quiet times there is no need for them, which is why we will be removing them at night from the autumn."


Latest Bexley news

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A man who ran over two elderly women with his electric wheelchair was sentenced on Friday, November 16 at Southwark Crown Court.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Christmas 2018 and the Northern Lights are welcomed to Bexleyheath on Saturday, November 17 with a spectacular mix of music and dance from stilt walkers to bhangra dancers, and acoustic artists to fire shows.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Now back from recording the second series of All Together Now, Brit School teacher and Bromley local Georg Tormann is now warming up for Christmas with his Beckenham-based choir.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

A Bexley artist has raised her concerns that a revamp of Hall Place will see the death of the art scene in the area.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wildlife enthusiasts are calling for “embarrassing” fly-tipping that is blighting marshland in Bexley to be cleared up.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas expressed concerns that an energy park in Bexley will lead to “toxic fumes” billowing across the Thames to the Rainham and Beam Park development area.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Bexleyheath pub will be offering free gin and tonic today, in exchange for a very unusual currency - cake.

Most read news

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Bexley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24