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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

First rush hour at "freeflow" Dartford Crossing

The Dartford Crossing in Kent faced its first major challenge this morning since collection of tolls at the site was removed over the weekend and replaced by a numberplate recognition charging system.

Critics say the charges should be abolished too - and many agree that the only real way to smooth out traffic over the Thames is to build another crossing entirely. But Monday's rush hour largely went without a hitch as "free flow charging" came into effect.

David Johns reports, speaking to businessman Chris Billing, Dartford Crossing Project Manager Nigel Gray, Natalie Chapman from the Freight Transport Association, and Dartford MP Gareth Johnson.

£5,000 fine for ignoring improvement order

A property owner who ignored a court order to improve a house and gardens in Gravesham has been fined £5,000 at a second hearing in Dartford.

Henry Robinson, aged 69, from Dartford, admitted failing to comply with a notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The notice required him to improve the neglected and rarely occupied property in Mulberry Close, Meopham both to the building and the front and rear gardens.

He had been fined £250 last November and the deadline was extended to March this year to do the work.

This time the court fined him £5,000 with £245 costs.

The property has been in disrepair for some time and every opportunity was given to Mr Robinson to make the improvements without the need for formal legal action.

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Trial to fine litter droppers

Canterbury city centre- Credit: ITV Meridian

Around a hundred people have been fined since the start of a trial by Canterbury council to fine people for dropping litter.

Officers working for the authority have been patrolling the city centre aswell as Herne Bay, and Whitstable.

The 3 month trial finishes at the end of March.

The council says the majority of fines were for people dropping smoking related litter.