TRANSPORT ACT 2000(A) NOTICE OF VARIATION OF ORDER FOR CHARGING SCHEME AT THE DARTFORD-THURROCK CROSSING - OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE REPRESENTATIONS ON THE DRAFT A282 TRUNK ROAD (DARTFORD-THURROCK CROSSING CHARGING SCHEME) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 2019Notice ID: MF0511585
Department for Transport
TRANSPORT ACT 2000(A) NOTICE OF VARIATION OF ORDER FOR CHARGING SCHEME AT THE DARTFORD-THURROCK CROSSING - OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE REPRESENTATIONS ON THE DRAFT A282 TRUNK ROAD (DARTFORD-THURROCK CROSSING CHARGING SCHEME) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 2019
The Secretary of State for Transport gives notice that he intends to vary the A282 Trunk Road (Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme) Order 2013 ("the 2013 Order") which established the free-flow road user charging scheme (without toll barriers) at the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing, such that the scheme will remain in force for an indefinite period. This would be achieved by making the A282 Trunk Road (Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme) (Amendment) Order 2019 ("the draft 2019 Order") in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 163(3)(d), 167(1)(a) and (2)(a), 168(1) and (2) and 171(1)(e) of the Transport Act 2000. The draft 2019 Order is now available for inspection.
The 2013 Order established a free-flow road user charging scheme on what is commonly known as the Dartford Crossing, comprising a southbound bridge and two northbound tunnels carrying the A282 road between Dartford in Kent (south) and Thurrock in Essex (north). The Crossing was designed to handle up to 135,000 vehicle movements each day, but it is not uncommon for 160,000 to occur, particularly during weekdays. The Crossing is operating at over 117% capacity. The current charge to use the crossing, which in 2003 replaced the previous toll, exists to manage traffic demand on a crossing where traffic exceeds capacity.
The 2013 Order ceases to have effect from October 2020. However, if the charge ended, there would be an increase in traffic and congestion on this important strategic route with knock-on congestion on local roads as usage of the Crossing increases. The 2018 Post Implementation Review of the introduction of free-flow charging provided evidence that the charge, and free-flow, were beneficial, and recommended that the charge should continue. Therefore, the draft 2019 Order would vary the 2013 Order such that it applies indefinitely.
It is proposed that the draft 2019 Order shall come into force on 29th November 2019 where after the 2013 Order will remain in force indefinitely.
Copies of the following documents are available for inspection:
This notice, which sets out the Secretary of State's rationale for the variation order,
The A282 Trunk Road (Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme) Order 2013,
A draft copy of the A282 Trunk Road (Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme) (Amendment) Order 2019
They may be inspected free of charge during office hours from the date of this notice until 17th October 2019, at Visitors Reception, Connect Plus Services Dartford Depot, Crossing Offices, South Orbital Road, Dartford DA1 5PR.
Objections or representations specifically relating to the draft 2019 Order may be made until 17th October 2019. They must be made in writing and state the specific grounds on which they are being made. They can be sent to Dartford Charging Team, 2/19 Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR or Email: