Dartford Charge to launch end of November
By Kyle Lindsay
Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 09:00
Opens at the end of the month
A website where drivers can register for a pre-pay account opened to the public today
As if in response to our recent story about fleets remaining in the dark over Dartford Crossing scheme, the Highways Agency today confirmed that the Dart Charge will launch on 30 November.
The new payment arrangements – known as Dart Charge – will help reduce congestion and ease traffic flow at the Crossing as drivers will no longer stop to pay at the barriers.
From 6am on Sunday 30 November 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 30 November – opened to the public today.
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.”
Pressure was mounting on the Highways Agency as the scheme was supposed to open last month and no information or advice had been provided to businesses.
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.”
In response to the announcement, ACFO chairman John Pryor commented: “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 charge to use the Crossing will also increase from Sunday 30 November, as announced by the Department for Transport in May 2012, as follows. The crossing will remain free between 10pm and 6am and the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme remains in place:
|Current||From Sunday 30 November|
|Cash||Dart Tag||Pay as you go||Pre-Paid Accounts|
|2 Axle Goods||£2.50||£2.19||£3.00||£2.63|
|Multi Axle Goods||£5.00||£4.33||£6.00||£5.19|
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 or set up a pre-pay account via:
- 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.
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.
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