On 30 November, a new payment system called ‘Dart Charge’ was introduced at the Dartford Crossing in Kent which requires drivers to pay the toll in advance rather than at booths.

The Dartford Crossing is a popular route for travelling to and from the Channel ports and vehicles use the bridge or tunnel on the M25 to cross the River Thames between Dartford, Kent and Thurrock, Essex. The Highways Agency hopes the new system will benefit drivers by reducing the congestion which the crossing has historically suffered from.

Drivers can no longer pay the toll at booths located at the crossing and instead must pay the Dart Charge in advance online, by telephone, by post or at a Payzone retail outlet. If drivers do not pay in advance then payment must be made by midnight on the day of the crossing with fines applicable if this is not done.

To coincide with the launch of the new system, charges for the crossing have increased accordingly:

  • £2.50 for cars
  • £3.00 for two-axle goods vehicles
  • £6.00 for multi-axle goods vehicles
  • Free for motorcycles

Drivers can receive a discount by setting up a pre-pay account and save up to a third on every crossing. The crossing will continue to be free for all motorists between 10:00pm and 6:00am.

To find out more about the new Dart Charge and set up a pre-pay account, go to the Gov.uk website.