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MP discusses plans for new Thames Crossing

Patrick McLoughlin and Jackie Doyle-Price Credit: ITV Meridian

The MP for Thurrock has met the Secretary of State for Transport to discuss plans for a new Thames crossing. Also on the agenda were improvements to the roads leading to the Dartford Crossing, and free-flow tolling.

The MP has repeated a call for local residents to get free passes for the bridge and tunnel.

REPORT: Bridging the future at Dartford?

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.


Consultation on second Dartford crossing launched

Traffic heads towards the Dartford River Crossing near Darenth, Kent, as the bank holiday getaway begins. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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.

Operator stayed on phone with terrified driver

Driver was terrified of the crossing Credit: Meridian

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."

Driver was too scared to drive through Dartford Crossing

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.


Council report claims Dartford Crossing costs could rise

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.

Calls to scrap crossing tolls

Dartford crossing tolls Credit: ITV Meridian

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.

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