Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Tolls

Department for Transport written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Father of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much revenue has accrued to the public purse in each year since charges replaced the original tolls at the Dartford crossing; and what estimate he has made of the time taken to pay for the costs of building the Elizabeth Bridge and funding its long-term maintenance.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The revenue accruing from the Dart Charge is published each year in the Dartford-Thurrock river crossing charging scheme accounts (in the table headed income) which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/search/all?keywords=%22dartford+thurrock%22+accounts&order=relevance.

Toll charges were levied until 2003 when the debts associated with the construction of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and the tunnels had been fully discharged. A Road User Charge was introduced in 2003 to manage the high demand for use of the Crossing after a study reported that traffic levels would be 17% higher if payment was removed. The charges imposed and collected are used to fund transport improvements in accordance with the Transport Act 2000, though not exclusively Dartford-related.

The published accounts include figures on the maintenance and operation of the crossing in the expenditure table.

The maintenance cost for both the tunnels and Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, for the year ended 31 March 2019, amounted to £11.371 million. This figure included costs for:

Expenditure (2018-2019)

£000

Highways England Staff

3,530

Safety Scheme

4,833

EU Tunnel directive on safety

1,848

Technology projects safety

890

Network Resilience

136

Routine maintenance

494

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