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Almost four million fewer motorists are using the Dartford Crossing compared to five years ago, new figures have shown.

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Statistics from the Highways Agency reveal that in 2005/6, just under 54.5m drivers were using the route, compared with 50.9m in 2010/11.

In October drivers will experience another toll hike when the fare rises from £1.50 to £2 to use the crossing.

It will go up again in 2014 to £2.50, when automatic number plate recognition systems will remove the need for barriers. There have been calls for another crossing to ease congestion. Proposed sites include another parallel to the current one or a new route at Gravesend.

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