Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Dartford Crossing free-flow system contract awarded
A MULTI-MILLION pound contract has been awarded to a company tasked with improving congestion at the Dartford Crossing.
The Highways Agency has awarded the £367million deal, that will see a new free-flow charging system introduced next year, to European tolls agency sanef as congestion easing measures move closer.
It was announced in July that the barriers will be taken down in October 2014 with motorists now asked to pay via phone, text message, online or at some shops instead of stopping at the tolls to hand over money.
Pre-paid accounts which qualify for discounted journeys will also be available.
Under the contract sanef will have to design, implement, deliver and operate the system, which will include making sure everyone has paid by one of the new methods and designing a centre of operations for operatives to monitor the service including processing payments, managing accounts and handling enquiries.
Nigel Gray, Highways Agency project manager, said: “We are introducing new technology and road layout changes to change the way drivers pay to use the Crossing. Once it is fully implemented drivers will not have to stop at the barriers, but will pay for their journey remotely. This will reduce congestion and ease traffic flow. The contract covers the development as well as the ongoing operation of the new payment system.
“We remain on track to deliver this improvement in October 2014.”
It is a seven year deal that can be extended to ten years with the potential cost of the agreement reaching £367million.
The penalty charge for non-payment once the scheme is introduced will be £70, with a reduced rate of £35 if paid within 14 days.
If the penalty is not paid within 28 days, it would increase to £105.
Local residents to Dartford and Thurrock recently received the welcome news that they would only have to pay an annual fee of £20 to use the crossing in line with changes to the Local Resident Discount Scheme.
These changes will be introduced in the early part of next year.
Comments are closed on this article.