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Minster says "right decision will be made" on Thames Crossing.

It's a route used by more than a hundred thousand drivers a day. The Dartford Crossing is one of the biggest pinch-points for the south-east road network. Today the Government said it will do a detailed study of two final options for a new crossing over the Thames.

But some debate whether it's needed. David Johns reports, speaking to Roads Minister Robert Goodwill and Thurrock Council leader John Kent (Lab).

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Work on new layout at Dartford Crossing to start today

Improvements to Dartford Crossing start today Credit: PA

Work on a new layout for the Dartford Crossing begins today.

Barriers are being removed as a new payment system will be introduced in October 2014.

Drivers will pay online, by phone, text or at one of numerous retail outlets instead of stopping at the barriers.

The new payment method will ease congestion and traffic at the Crossing.

Signs will also be installed to help drivers understand the new system.

Nigel Gray, Highways Agency Project Director said, "This advance work has been carefully planned to minimise disruption to road users and so will largely be carried out overnight when traffic flows are lowest."

New technology and road layout for Dartford Crossing

Artist impression of new crossing Credit: Highways Agency

Newer technology and a change to the road layout should help reduce traffic congestion along the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing. The scheme will be launched during October 2014 and the following changes are planned: you'll be paying remotely rather than at the barrier as you cross.

You'll be able to pay in advance of crossing or before midnight the day after crossing. It'll be cheaper for those to have an account and crossing between 10pm and 6am will still be free.

This spring, the Highways Agency will be doing some advance construction work to prepare for the new remote paying system in October. After that, the crossing road layout will change and work is due to complete in the spring of 2015.

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Residents get discounts over Dartford Crossing

A discount scheme which lets residents make unlimited trips across the Dartford Crossing comes into force today. People already registered in the Local Residents' Discount Scheme will be able to make unlimited trips over the crossing for £20 a year.

Meanwhile free-flow tolls will be operating at the crossing in October. It's hoped the new barrier-less system will help ease congestion for commuters.

Changes to charging at Dartford crossing

A new charging scheme to ease congestion and improve traffic flow at the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing will go ahead next year.

Dartford crossing

It follows two consultations which found overall support for new legislation for drivers who don't pay.

The free-flow technology will enable motorist to go through without stopping at the barriers.

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