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Freight Transport Association demands action as almost a quarter of foreign drivers fail to pay Dartford Crossing charge

PUBLISHED: 09:25 09 September 2016 | UPDATED: 09:25 09 September 2016

Almost a quarter of foreign drivers fail to pay first time

Almost a quarter of foreign drivers fail to pay first time

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The industry body wants to prevent a wider problem developing

The Freight Transport Association has called for tougher action on foreign drivers who do not pay the Dartford Crossing charge after it was revealed almost a quarter of foreign registered vehicles are failing to pay.

Only 77.1 per cent of foreign drivers pay the charge first time, according to a Freedom of Information request by BBC Radio Kent - and the FTA wants action to prevent a wider problem developing.

Barriers at the crossing were removed in November 2014 and the Dart Charge electronic system replaced toll booths, allowing drivers to pay online, using a mobile app, by telephone, at a pay zone outlet or through a pre-pay account.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s head of policy for London and the South East, said: “Removing the tolls has reduced congestion, which can only be good for traffic flow and the environment.

“But all vehicles, wherever they are based, should be paying the charge and should be pursued for non-payment. Otherwise, what starts off as a relatively small problem of non-compliance can quickly grow to a big problem and that creates an uneven playing field for UK operators.”

The FTA backs the construction of a Lower Thames Crossing to keep transport costs down as traffic volumes continue to rise.

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