Options for a new Thames crossing include a scheme that would pass through "environmentally sensitive areas" and cost up to £5 billion.
Concerns have been raised that plans for cameras to replace toll booths at the Dartford Crossing could leave motorists with huge fines.
Motorists will be fined £105 if they fail to pay tolls at the Dartford Crossing under plans revealed by the Highways Agency.
The government has announced the start of consultations over building a new Thames Crossing. There are three options: Dartford, Swanscombe and a site near Gravesend. The cost could top £5 billion.
We speak to Roads Minister Stephen Hammond, Richard Knox-Johnston from CPRE Protect Kent, Cllr Bryan Sweetland from Kent County Council and Natalie Chapman from the Freight Transport Association.
The Government has today begun consulting on a second Dartford Crossing. The options are:
(1) at the site of the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing;
(2) connecting the A2 Swanscombe Peninsula with the A1089 in Essex; o
(3) linking the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30.
The Freight Transport Association says it's long overdue but environmentalists say they're not convinced it's needed.
The operator stayed on the phone with the man to reassure him until a patrol located his car - and drove the vehicle through the tunnel with him as a passenger, before sending him on his way. He was too scared to drive through the Dartford crossing.
Inspector Paul Sellwood, of the Kent Police roads policing unit, said: "This incident shows how seriously we take all calls we receive from members of the public."
A terrified motorist with a fear of bridges called police out for help - because he was too scared to drive through the Dartford crossing in North Kent. The driver took a wrong turn and called Kent Police when his satnav directed him to drive over the river crossing at 9.30am on Monday.
The man, who did not know the area, suffers from gephyrophobia, an anxiety disorder brought about through a fear of crossing bridges. The force control room operator said he would be passing through the tunnel, not over the bridge, but the motorist confessed he still felt too scared.
VIDEO: A new tunnel under the Thames in East London could drive up the cost of using the Dartford Crossing according to Dartford council. It's worried new, increased tolls at the proposed Silvertown Tunnel could mean charges will be forced up at Dartford.
A new Thames tunnel could drive up the cost to motorists using the Dartford Crossing, according to a council report.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is behind the proposals for a new tunnel at the Greenwich peninsula, linking it with Silvertown across the river.
A report by Dartford Borough Council raises fears it could put on pressure to increase the cost to cross the Dartford bridge and tunnel to maintain the balance of traffic using each crossing.
The earliest the Silvertown tunnel could open is 2021 and a toll charge is likely to be introduced to fund it. Despite worries the borough council’s report does recommends members support the plans as it could reduce congestion around Dartford.
The Alliance of British Drivers is calling for the tolls at the Dartford crossing to be scrapped completely.
The Government plans to remove the existing barriers by autumn next year but motorists will still have to pay to use the crossing by phone, text or online.
The Alliance says the free-flow charging will cause inconvenience for drivers having to remember to pay and that they risk getting fined if they forget, plus the hassle of running such a system.
The M25 anticlockwise is closed, with stationary traffic at A282 (Dartford River Crossing toll booths).
The tunnel has been closed due to the accident that has blocked the carriageway between J31 and J30.
Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock is appealing for residents to give their views on the proposed changes to the payment system on the Dartford Crossing.
A consultation is currently underway over plans to remove all barriers at the crossing and improve traffic flow.
The removal of the barriers would affect the way payments for using the crossing are taken.
– Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock
“I welcome the proposal to reduce congestion and traffic at the Dartford Crossing. The crossing is a vital piece of infrastructure and I can understand how frustrating it is for motorists to be sitting in traffic while waiting to pay.
“I do however want to ensure that the payment system is fair to all involved. It must be simple and must not be intended to catch people out.
“I would encourage anyone who uses the Dartford Crossing to make their views known to the Highway Agency. It is vital that the road users have a say in how this new system will be managed.”