To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of how many drivers of overseas-registered vehicles will not pay the Dartford Crossing toll following changes to the payment arrangements; what estimate he has made of the potential annual loss of revenue from such non-payment; and what steps will be taken to recover payment from drivers of overseas-registered vehicles who do not pay the toll.
The Highways Agency estimates that non-UK registered vehicles will account for around 3 out of every 100 crossings and the majority of these are expected to comply with the charge. The Highways Agency are serious about tackling non-compliance and will use effective penalty and recovery processes that have been proven elsewhere, such as the London congestion charging and Dublin M50 toll schemes. The new Dartford Charging Scheme Order enables the Agency to enforce the Dartford Crossing road user charge through penalty charges and recovery processes.
A European debt recovery agency, with access to a variety of foreign vehicle databases, will also be used to pursue and recover outstanding charges from non-UK vehicles that evade paying the Crossing charge.