Dartford Crossing vehicle numbers at lowest in 15 years

PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 August 2013

Vehicles using the Dartford Crossing have dropped to their lowest level in 15 years.

Around 49 million vehicles travelled through the crossing from Essex to Kent between April last year and March, according to new figures from the Highways Agency.

The number is down by one and a half million users in the previous year, and is little more than 700,000 more than the same period in 1998.

An average of 134,732 vehicles made the trip across the river each day, with the most traffic seen on August 31 - when 165,930 cars, bikes and vans made the trip.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: “While the amount of traffic using the Dartford Thurrock River Crossing has decreased slightly over the last few years, traffic flows are expected to increase by a fifth over the next 30 years, due to the anticipated development in the Thames Gateway region.

“The crossing still operates over capacity. It was designed to handle up to 135,000 vehicle movements each day, but it is not uncommon for 160,000 to occur.”

The tolls price of the toll has increased by 100 per cent since 2008.

Roads minister, Stephen Hammond, last month stated that the toll booth barriers would be scrapped from next October to ease congestion.

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