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Jackie Doyle-Price speaks out over Dartford Crossing charges
THURROCK residents should not pay to use the Dartford Crossing, an MP has said.
Jackie Doyle-Price, Tory MP for Thurrock, has renewed calls to make the crossing free for people living in the borough after a Government consultation was carried out on “free-flow” proposals for the toll road.
Chancellor George Osborne announced at the end of last year that more than £150million will be spent reducing congestion on the M25 from 2015.
The cash will improve junction 30, just north of the Dartford Crossing which is where the A13 crosses the motorway. The area is frequently clogged up as it is close to the toll bridge as well as the popular Lakeside shopping centre and the logistics hub of Tilbury Port.
A new “free-flow” system, designed to take payment through text message, phone, online and in shops instead of making drivers stop to pay, is expected to be introduced in 2014.
However, Ms Doyle-Price said people living around the notorious bottleneck should not have to pay the fee at all.
Currently, residents in Thurrock and Dartford are entitled to a discounted toll.
The Dartford Crossing opened in 1991 and was originally going to be free once the costs of building it had been recouped. However, the charges remain as legislation passed by the Labour government deemed it a “congestion charge”.
Ms Doyle-Price added: “The tolls were meant to be lifted once the construction costs of the