Dartford Crossing contract worth almost £400million signed
PUBLISHED: 12:15 27 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:15 27 September 2013
A contract worth almost £400million has been signed for a French company to implement the new free-flow tolls at the Dartford Crossing.
The Highways Agency has awarded the seven-year contract to motorway operator Sanef to design, implement, deliver and operate the tolling system.
The £367million contract will last seven years, and can be extended by an extra three.
It is hoped the change will ease traffic congestion at the crossing which has become a notorious traffic black spot.
The new technology will be implemented next year and users will be able to pay by phone, text, online or at retail outlets.
They will have until midnight the day after their journey to pay the charge or face being handed a £70 fine, which will be reduced to £35 if paid within a fortnight.
Roads minister Stephen Hammond said: “This will help thousands of drivers who use the crossing every day, and benefit both the local and national economy.”
Nigel Gray, Highways Agency project manager, added: “Once it is fully implemented drivers will not have to stop at the barriers, but will pay for their journey remotely.
“This will reduce congestion and ease traffic flow. The contract covers the development as well as the ongoing operation of the new payment system.
“We remain on track to deliver this improvement in October 2014.”