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QE2 Bridge and Sheppey Crossing remain closed

QE2 Bridge closed due to strong winds

The QE2 Bridge at the Dartford Crossing and the A249 Sheppey Crossing are likely to remain closed through the afternoon due to the strong winds.

60mph winds prompted the closure of both bridges for the safety of drivers.

Traffic for the QE2 bridge is being diverted via the east tunnel. Traffic heading northbound will only be able to use the west tunnel.

A clearly signed diversion is in place for the A249 Sheppey Crossing using the Kingsferry bridge.

The bridges will remain closed until the wind speeds drop, which could be after 5pm.

Drivers are advised to plan their journeys and allow extra time.

Sheppey Crossing also remains closed

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One year since Dart Charge came into force

The Dart Charge system was launched a year ago to reduce congestion at the Dartford Crossing Credit: ITV Meridian

It's one year since the Dart Charge payment system, aimed at reducing congestion came into force at the Dartford Crossing.

Highways England says removing the barriers has resulted in faster journey times.

But some drivers complain they have faced problems with the billing system.

Row over siting of new Thames Crossing continues

There's still no agreement where a new crossing over the Thames should be built. Most drivers agree - one is certainly needed - as they endure long delays between Dartford and Thurrock.

But faced with a range of options from East London to Gravesend and Tilbury - the arguments about where the bridge and its approach roads should go, have continued

As Nashreen Issa reports, the Government is due to make a decision early next year.

The interviewees are: Cllr John Kent, Thurrock Council; and Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Thurrock.

Highways England denies sending bailiffs to 150,000 who haven't paid for using Dartford Crossing

It is almost a year since the Dart Charge was introduced at the Dartford Crossing Credit: Highways England

Highways England today denied reports it was sending in the bailiffs to 150,000 drivers who have failed to pay tolls at the Dartford Crossing.

Officials say no such proceedings have been started, but admit the measure could be used if motorists persistently refuse to pay to cross.

They say warning letters are sent out in the first instance and court action would be a last resort but say that is some way off.

Highways England say it is only fair that all drivers pay the tolls but they want to encourage drivers to use the proper method before using the legal process.

The Dart Charge was introduced last year - it involves payment being made in an electronic way rather than at the time of crossing. The barriers were removed earlier this year.

Drivers must pay for using the Dartford Crossing between 6am and 10pm. The fee, which can be up to £6 a time, must be paid by midnight on the day after crossing.

The penalty charge is £70 and must be paid within 28 days. It’s reduced to £35 if you pay within 14 days and increased to £105 if you don’t pay.

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Dart Charge cutting journey times by 90 minutes a week

The removal of the toll booths and introduction of the Dart Charge is reducing journey times for drivers using the Dartford Crossing.

No toll booths means drivers have flexibility of when to pay Credit: Highways England

New figures released by Highways England show that journeys over the crossing are now up to 56% faster, with drivers at peak times saving around an hour and a half every week, up to 14 minutes southbound and seven minutes northbound.

Relieving congestion and speeding up journeys at the Dartford Crossing is what Dart Charge is all about. These really encouraging figures show what a difference Dart Charge is making for drivers.

Drivers commuting from Essex in to Kent are saving around 20 minutes a day, and others commuting from Kent to Essex are saving more than 15 minutes a day.

– Nigel Gray, Dart Charge project director

The Dart Charge means drivers can pay online, by phone, post, or in a shop instead of paying cash at a barrier.

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