Fleet News

Highways Agency announces new date and details for Dartford Crossing charge change

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

The new payment arrangements - known as Dart Charge – aim to 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 Saturday, November 29.

From 6am on Sunday, 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 – is no also available.

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.”

The website where drivers can set up their pre-pay account -www.gov.uk/dart-charge is now open and 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 Sunday, November 30, as announced by the Department for Transport in May 2012, as follows:

 

Current

From Sunday 30 November

Cash

Dart Tag

Pay as you go

Pre-Paid Accounts

Motorbikes

Free

Free

Free

Free

Cars

£2.00

£1.33

£2.50

£1.67

2 Axle Goods

£2.50

£2.19

£3.00

£2.63

Multi Axle Goods

£5.00

£4.33

£6.00

£5.19

The crossing will remain free between 10pm and 6am and the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme remains in place.

ACFO has been critical of a lack of information for fleets from the Highways Agency, so welcomed the announcement. Chairman John Pryor said:  “ACFO is pleased that the Highways Agency has at last announced when the new Dartford Crossing charge scheme will be introduced and how businesses can set up an online account.

“However, ACFO remains concerned that the Highways Agency has only been able to give a little over three week’s notice of the introduction of the new remote charging system.

“That means fleet decision-makers must work quickly to ensure they have policies and procedures in place and clearly communicate those and the details of the Dartford Crossing changes to all drivers.

“The new DART Charge scheme introduces a new administration burden for fleet decision-makers, but we cannot change that.

“Nevertheless, it is vital that each business makes its own decisions on how it will manage and police the charges so that non-payment fines are not incurred.”

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 find out more about Dart Charge, or to register for updates please visit www.gov.uk/highways/dartford.

Dart Charge – Frequently Asked Questions

Dart Charge is a massive change to how people use the Dartford Crossing. Here are answers to some of the most frequent questions about the new payment arrangements:

When will the new payment arrangements be introduced?

Dart Charge will be introduced at 6am on Sunday 30 November 2014.

Why are you making the changes?

Removing the need to stop and pay at the barriers will ease congestion and speed up journeys for everyone.

How will I pay?

From 30 November you will be able to make one-off payments:
• online at www.gov.uk/dart-charge
• by phone on 0300 300 0120
• by post to PO Box 842, Leeds, LS1 9QF.
• 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 30 November.

How can I set up a pre-pay account?

• Online at  www.gov.uk/dart-charge 
• Over the phone on 0300 300 0120
• By post. Call us on the number above and we’ll send you a registration form.

What happens if I already have an account with DART-Tag?

There is no need to set up a new account – we’ll send you personalised instructions shortly to tell you how you can quickly and easily transfer to Dart Charge.

I don’t want an account, when can I pay for an individual crossing?

You will be able to make one-off payments from the 30 November; the day the new charging services go live.

When do I need to pay the charge?

The charging hours are between 6am -10pm every day. It will still be free to use the Crossing between 10pm and 6am.

If you don’t set up a Dart Charge account you will need to pay the charge in advance or by midnight the following day for every crossing you make within the charging hours (6am – 10pm) after the 30 November.

What happens if I don’t pay?

If you do not pay by midnight after crossing, you will face a penalty.

Where can I find further information?

Further information and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.gov.uk/highways/dartford and everyone can subscribe to receive updates via this page.
 

To pay for the Dart Charge call 0300 3000 120 or visit www.gov.uk/pay-dartford-crossing-charge and pay before midnight on the day of travel.


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Comments

  • Bob. - 06/11/2014 13:43

    Whilst the move to the non-manned booths is to be welcomed, it would be comforting to learn how the Highways Agency will deal with non-payment by non-UK registered vehicles and if they are prepared to publish monthly figures of arrears as a matter of course. The crossing is used by a significant number of non-UK vehicles and the fleet sector along with the public would like the on going assurance that UK vehicles are not subsidising non-UK vehicles.

  • Mike - 06/11/2014 23:51

    When my car is in for a service or repair I have a loan or hire car, I may even have use of another car. When I use another car I take my Dart Tag with me so I still receive the discount. How will this be handled now? Would I need to go on line and temporarily register the registration plate of the car I'm using? Will it be automatically cancelled by the system or will need to go on-line and cancel it again as soon as I return the car?

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