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Dartford-Thurrock Crossing

Transport written question – answered on 18th January 2011.

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Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price Conservative, Thurrock

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 21 December 2010, Official Report, column 1299W, on the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: tolls, what procedure is followed to determine whether to suspend the tolls at the Dartford Crossing; what criteria inform the decision; and who is responsible for the decision.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

The road user charge at the Dartford Crossing can be suspended in both directions, in exceptional emergency circumstances, to facilitate the safe movement of traffic or in the interests of the safety of the public, in accordance with the Transport Act 2000, section 172A.

The decision to suspend the charge is taken by a senior civil servant within the Highways Agency on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, in accordance with the relevant legislation.

The Department for Transport has made it clear that it is willing to consider suspending the charges when congestion is particularly severe, and where the need to collect charges is contributing to that congestion and we will be issuing guidance in the near future.

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