New payment system for the Dartford Crossing on the M25

Brian Moyse has sent in this item saying "somewhat South and East biased, but equally of interest to our continental friends and anyone coming from the north or east of the UK and heading clockwise around the M25 for Eurotunnel or the Channel Ports and vice versa. The new charging system will mean the charge is no longer collected at toll booths at the crossing and will be based on something similar to that used for the Central London congestion charge." He adds "the crossing charge for a car went up from £1.50 to £2.00 in October 2013 and according to the legislation will be increasing again to £2.50 from October 2014! There will apparently be discounts if you set up an account and put money on deposit!"

As details of how these alternative payment systems work become available we will post further updates.

Note the crossing charge and the penalty charges will apply to both UK and overseas drivers.

Dartford Crossing charges. More

Getting a Dart Tag. More

Automobile Association article. More

Posted: 140811

If you are travelling on the M25 and using the Dartford Crossing over the River Thames to the east of London, then you need to know that from October 2014 there are changes being introduced to the way you pay the crossing charge. The Highways Agency you will no longer pay at the barriers; instead you’ll be able to pay in advance, or before midnight the day after crossing. Drivers who don’t pay will face a penalty charge - the charges will apply to both UK and overseas drivers. The new scheme is known as Dart Charge and will help to reduce congestion at the crossing. It will still be free to use the crossing between 10pm and 6am.
Dart Charge
A new payment system called Dart Charge is being introduced which
means that drivers will no longer stop to pay at the barriers but instead they will be able to pay in advance or by midnight the day after their journey. As motorists make a crossing, number plate reading cameras, lasers and DART tag readers will identify their vehicle to see how much they need to pay. The system then takes the money from their account or waits to receive payment from them. If they do not pay in time they will receive a penalty charge notice. This will apply to both UK and foreign vehicles. It will still be free to use the Dartford Crossing between 10pm and 6am and discounts for local residents will remain. A Dart Charge account offers a discount of up to a third and means drivers don’t need to remember to pay, as it can be automatically topped up.

How to pay the crossing charge
The Highways Agency says there will be various way to pay the charge for using the Dartford Crossing:
with a pre-pay Dart Charge account
> online
> by text
> at selected retail outlets
> over the phone
> by post
Unfortunately details of the payment systems are not yet available. As details of how these alternative payment systems work become available we will post further updates. But what is known is drivers who don’t pay the crossing charge - in advance or within the permitted time - will face a penalty charge.
Remote payment methods

The Highways Agency says “these changes are part of a major road improvement to reduce congenstion at the Dartford Crossing. These changes will improve traffic flow, reduce journey times, and bring about significant benefits to motorists, both locally and from much further afield. It’s one of the country’s most congested parts of the road network, and we’re serious about tackling the problem.”
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