The Dartford Crossing – one of the UK’s most recognisable transport landmarks – will change forever this weekend.
Dart Charge – a new way of paying the crossing charge – will speed up journeys by removing the need to stop at a barrier and give drivers more flexibility about how and when they pay the charge.
From 6am this Sunday (November 30) instead of paying cash at the Crossing drivers will pay online, by phone or post or at one of thousands of retail outlets nationwide. Payment can be made in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.
More than 120,000 Dart Charge accounts have already been set up, covering more than 170,000 vehicles. Each will save up to a third every time they use the Crossing when Dart Charge goes live this Sunday.
Dart Charge project director Nigel Gray said: “This is a big week for the Dartford Crossing – today marks the last Monday before cash payments at the Crossing stop and work to take out the payment booths begins.
“Better journeys at Dartford really are on the way. I’m very encouraged by the take up we’ve seen for pre-pay accounts, which will be the easiest and cheapest way to use the Crossing. But plenty more could still benefit, and now’s the time to take action.”
Setting up a Dart Charge account is quick and simple, taking less than 7 minutes on average, and can be done from virtually any computer, tablet or smartphone. It can also be done by phone or post, says the Highways Agency.
Work to remove the booths and improve the road layout will begin on Friday, November 28 - the same weekend the new payment arrangements go live - and will continue until spring 2015.
For more detailed information about the works, including drawings of the planned road layouts, visit www.gov.uk/highways/dartford.