The Alliance of British Drivers

London Region

Dartford and Other Thames River Crossings Campaign
   Road Safety

Important note: if you have come to this page because you are aware that the charges discussed below have been put into effect at the Dartford Crossing (from Nov 30th 2014) and wish to pay the fee, please go here for details of how to pay the charge: . But you may care to read why we opposed this change below.

In January 2013 the ABD launched a campaign against tolls on the Dartford Crossing (particularly the Free-Flow Charging proposals). We also oppose the suggestion that the Blackwall Tunnel and new Thames River Crossings at Silvertown be tolled.


A press release was issued on this subject which contained the following statements:

Government to Raise £7bn from the Dartford Crossing

The Highways Agency is likely to raise a net £7 billion for Government coffers from road users over 25 years by the introduction of “free-flow” charging at the Dartford Crossing. Even after the reduction in journey times which is a potential benefit to road users, the net cost to them is at least £5.5 billion over the same period. 

That ignores the inconvenience that will be caused to road users by having to pay the charge, the high risk of unknowingly incurring a £35 penalty charge by forgetting to pay and the general hassle involved in using such a system (the consultation document suggests over 15,000 such events per day of “non-compliance”, i.e. penalty charges needing to be issued). If the toll booths were simply removed, to reduce the congestion they cause, then the benefits to road users would be real instead of imaginary. 

This proposal is backed up by a consultation document which is grossly misleading in the financial analysis and implications of the proposals. It also suggests that the tolls are required to pay for more river crossings when the net revenue being raised would pay for a new crossing in as little as two years. 

The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) suggests that this proposal is simply another tax raising measure from the Government and has nothing to do with improving the road system or reducing congestion as claimed. 

We encourage all road users to oppose this measure which may set a precedent for other road charging schemes (which the Government clearly has in mind).

An e-petition was created on this topic. Please go to this web page for more details (although the petition has now closed):

More Information

The full response by the ABD to the public consultation on the changes is present in this document on our web site:  

Note that we have also recently opposed the introduction of charges for the Blackwall Tunnel in response to a consultation on new Thames River crossings from TfL. For our response to that consultation, see:

Use the Contact page to send us your comments.

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For information on our previous campaigns against 20 Mph Average Speed Cameras, the Western Extension of the Congestion Charge, against congestion charging in Greenwich and Permit Parking in Richmond go here: No20cameras, WesternCon Greenwich or Richmond

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