The Transport Secretary visited the Dartford Crossing this morning to review the progress of the Freeflow Scheme.

He was joined by Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price and Dartford MP Gareth Johnson.

The Rt Hon Sec for Transport said: “It’s been very successful in the initial stages. It’s not just about speed, it’s about capacity and minimising delays, and we are definitely reducing queues. We have also seen a huge increase in speed.”

The Highways Agency announced at the progress review that Freeflow has cut journey times according to their statistics.

The figures released say nine minutes have been cut off southbound journeys and four minutes off northbound journeys.

When asked if the free-flow scheme should be more successful, the Secretary said: “I think it’s working. Look at it - the bridge is almost flowing.”

Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price said: “It’s been a long time coming, but it’s an excellent example of traffic management and we’ve seen a 20% increase in capacity.”

The Secretary was also asked if plans for the second bridge would be put on hold if the scheme were judged to be successful.

He added: “We have people consulting on two other routes, and that is something we’ve got in mind.”

The Secretary of State also claimed that Thurrock residents’ problems with accessing their residents’ discount for the crossing had been overcome.

Video 1: Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is asked how residents are being supported by the scheme and the plans to build further crossings.

Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price added: “Anyone who has a problem with the freeflow crossing – any Thurrock resident – should contact me directly about it.”