Fleet News

One in seven dodge Dartford Crossing charge

One month after toll booths were closed on the Dartford Crossing, the Highways Agency is chasing 300,000 motorists for failing to pay under the new system.

Around two million crossings have been made during the 6am-10pm chargeable period, since the new scheme – Dart Charge – was launched on Sunday, November 30.

But despite the majority of motorists successfully registering to pay, figures suggest that around 15% of crossings have not been paid for – the equivalent of 10,000 per day.

Fines are now being issued to offenders, but the Highways Agency said that the first penalty charge notice issued for each vehicle will include a warning letter giving the driver an extra 14 days in which to pay their original crossing charge without a penalty.

In addition, any further crossings made in that vehicle can also be paid at the standard rate as long as payment is received within the same 14-day period.

“We want to give all drivers the opportunity to pay and comply with the scheme,” said Dart Charge project director Nigel Gray. “This measured approach strikes the right balance between being clear to drivers they need to pay Dart Charge and giving them every opportunity to do so.”

One million vehicles are now registered to Dart Charge accounts with journey times showing improvement, according to new data released by the Highways Agency.

Early data suggests average journey times between 7am and 7pm have been cut by more than nine minutes southbound, and more than four minutes northbound, when comparing the first two weeks of December and the end of November.

Gray said: “The introduction of Dart Charge has been a big change so it is great that the vast majority of drivers have paid the charge.”

Under Dart Charge, drivers no longer pay the crossing charge in cash at a barrier. Instead, they pay online, by phone or at one of thousands of payzone retail outlets nationwide, either in advance or by midnight the day after they have used the Crossing. Payment can also be made in advance by post.

The quickest and easiest way to pay Dart Charge – including paying for outstanding crossings – is online, according to the Highways Agency.

The Dart Charge website works on almost any device, smartphone or tablet and can be found by clicking here.



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Comments

  • Weave - 31/12/2014 10:35

    I crossed the bridge the week following the changes. I never saw any signs telling me how to pay or even that I had to. I just drove through. I knew about the changes and went on line and paid anyway, which incidentally took me more than the nine minutes I probably did save not queueing. My passenger in the car to be fair did see one sign on the near side of the carriageway just after the old booth station.
    Come on the Highways people, make it very clear you have to pay and how. Just one more point, you should really do this prior to the last exit allowing you not to cross

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  • Gerry - 31/12/2014 11:14

    Our company has set up an a/c (20 vehicles) but I have repeatedly rang them to ask how do I/we get receipts to give to our accounts dept! I receive no clear communication from them it is as if they don't know!! They should have "mirrored" the Transport for London (TfL) system as I get by mail every month a list of crossings/cost.

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  • David steane - 31/12/2014 15:30

    I used this crossing the week it all changed and it was not displayed very well what you had to do it was only that the customer that I was calling on told me. To go on line and pay otherwise I would have been one of those people not paying on my way back I looked for signs but I did not see any. I don't think that the change over has been handled very well.

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  • melescritt6593 - 31/12/2014 16:16

    Still a congestion hot-spot, especially northbound. And why are the traffic lights and barriers at the northbound pay-booths still in operation one month on? Without these obstacles delays could be reduced.

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  • Paul - 31/12/2014 17:21

    Wow! big deal, drivers saved 9 minutes, not much for all the hassle.

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  • Richard Sweetman - 03/01/2015 13:21

    The lack of knowledge on behalf of drivers is to be expected, as the changeover has been delayed & not well publicised. But how many 'non-payers' are Foreign vehicles? Can anyone tell me how Foreign registered vehicles will be charged for this main UK artery road? Many vehicles fresh from the Channel ports & Eurotunnel can be expected to use this route, but how will they be economically & realistically chased for payment ?

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    • Ian - 10/01/2015 12:25

      @Richard Sweetman - those for non-UK vehicles are being issued via a European debt recovery agency

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      • Fruiterer - 15/06/2015 17:50

        so are you telling me that Dart Charge legally have access to other countries' vehicle keeper records / databases ? Also , a debt recovery agency can only legally act upon a notice issued by a local government body / local council under the authority of a UK court order. UK courts do not have jurisdiction outside of UK , neither do they have the power to issue execution warrants in foreign countries !! So someone here is talking bollocks -- and it certainly ain't me !

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  • Michael Wolf - 01/06/2015 14:50

    I recieved two Dart Charge notices and a warning notice for a trip over the bridge in morning and under tunnel in afternoon. This is after I paid online I sent representation along with exert of bank statement showing payment. On the phone to them they wanted to remind me it is still a new computer system! No consolation when they can't justify charge in first place and I wait to see outcome of what I sent in!

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  • Filip72 - 06/06/2015 12:47

    I just started a petition for the government to install local cash payment facilities… The present system is completely unfair… Here is the link!!! https://www.change.org/p/users-of-the-dartford-crossing-bridge-over-river-thames-stop-the-dart-charge-penalty-charge-notice?recruiter=311912073&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=des-lg-google-custom_msg

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  • Filip72 - 06/06/2015 12:48

    I just started a petition for the government to install local cash payment facilities… The present system is completely unfair… Here is the link!!! https://www.change.org/p/users-of-the-dartford-crossing-bridge-over-river-thames-stop-the-dart-charge-penalty-charge-notice?recruiter=311912073&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=des-lg-google-custom_msg

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  • Fruiterer - 15/06/2015 17:41

    So if it takes 9 minutes to pay on - line , or phone or whatever , then the motorist surely has a civil right to issue an invoice to cover his / her time spent paying the charge. 9 minutes at £160 p/h is £24.

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  • john - 17/08/2015 17:56

    There are thousands of people who have not paid l phoned them to pay for a crossing yesterday and they want 200 quid for a crossing i forgot about. Does anybody know how to appeal against this amount ?

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