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MP supports fight to get Toll tunnel barrier lifted during rush hour congestion times

PUBLISHED: 11:04 29 July 2010 | UPDATED: 18:06 25 August 2010

Proposals to lift the barriers at a congested River Crossing during rush hour are being considered more than 18 months after the Times launched a campaign to scrap the tolls.

Proposals to lift the barriers at a congested River Crossing during rush hour are being considered more than 18 months after the Times launched a campaign to scrap the tolls.

Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, cautiously welcomed news that at a meeting with Dartford MP Gareth Johnson and Secretary of State for Transport Phillip Hammond, Roads Minister Mike Penning said the government would consider lifting the tolls at certain times of the day.

In November 2008, the Times launched our Stop the Tolls campaign calling for tolls to be axed for a month to determine the effect it would have on congestion as angry motorists demanded an end to charges.

Although Mr Hammond was in favour of temporarily dropping the tolls during the most congested periods, he stopped well short of agreeing to axe them altogether.

Ms Pearce said: "Anything that eases congestion is good news. But then the majority of people using the crossing during rush hour have a Dartford tag anyway.

"This is good news, but it has to be part of a bigger plan. You cannot look at it in isolation. We need to look at other options, like Crossrail and another river crossing.

"There are 18 bridges to the West of Tower Bridge and two to the East and the Dartford Crossing is the only one with a toll. It's very unfair for the people who live to the east London, who have no choice but to use the crossing.


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