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Dartford tunnel's 50th anniversary today

Congestion can often be seen at the Dartford Crossing Credit: Press Association Images

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first tunnel at the Dartford Crossing between Kent and Essex. What is now the west bore of the current tunnel opened at midday on 18 November, 1963.

Capacity at the crossing was later increased with the opening of the east bore in 1981 and the Queen Elizabeth II bridge in 1991. The Highways Agency says the crossing is a vital transport link, continuing to bring benefits to the economy, nationally as well as regionally.

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TRAVEL - ROADS: KENT - M25 Dartford Tunnel - 2 lanes closed anti-clockwise

Two lanes closed at on M25 anticlockwise at the A282 (Dartford Tunnel), and there is queueing traffic after an accident involving a car and a lorry. There is congestion to J1b A282 / A296 Princes Road (Dartford).

The West tunnel is closed because of an accident just before the tunnel entrance, all traffic is going through the East tunnel.

TRAVEL - ROADS: ESSEX / KENT Queues at M25 Dartford Tunnel anticlockwise

There is queueing traffic and a lane is closed on the exit slip road on the M25 anticlockwise at J31 A1306 Arterial Road (West Thurrock) after an accident.

There is congestion on the M25 Dartford Tunnel to the J2 A2 (Darenth Interchange). The accident is just after the tunnel, on the exit slip road at J31.

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Incident at Dartford Tunnel - police investigating

The public are being advised to avoid the Dartford Tunnel at present if they can, after an incident which led to the closure of two lanes just after 11am.

There is queueing traffic on the M25 anticlockwise at A282 (Dartford Tunnel toll booths), and congestion on M25 to J1b A282 / A296 Princes Road (Dartford).

Kent Police are investigating the incident on the QE2 Bridge. Traffic is now using the Dartford Tunnels, but traffic is only running in two lanes in each direction.

TRAVEL - ROADS: Kent - Dartford Tunnel - 2 lanes closed

Two lanes are closed and there is queueing traffic due to a police incident on the M25 anticlockwise at A282 (Dartford Tunnel toll booths), congestion on M25 to J1b A282 / A296 Princes Road (Dartford).

All traffic was stopped in both directions just after 11:00 due to Police investigations on the QE2 Bridge. Traffic is now using the Dartford Tunnels, running two lanes in each direction.