Press release

Dart Charge gantries being installed at Dartford Crossing

Work begins this week to install gantries which will house signage and technology associated with the new Dart Charge remote payment system coming into operation at the Dartford Crossing from October 2014.

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In total five gantries will be installed near the tunnel entrance, and on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, to accommodate signage relating to the system, and equipment to identify vehicles.

In total five gantries will be installed near the tunnel entrance, and on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, to accommodate signage relating to the system, and equipment to identify vehicles.

Preparation work for the installation has been taking place off the road, with no disruption to drivers. The actual installation work requires separate north and southbound overnight closures. The work is being done overnight when traffic flows are lowest.

Northbound work will take place on Wednesday 14, Thursday 15, Friday 16 and Sunday 18 May. Southbound work will take place for four nights from Monday 19 May and on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 May.

To enable traffic to continue to be able to travel in both directions over the crossing only one bore of the tunnel will be open to northbound traffic during the overnight work. When work takes place southbound, the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge will be closed and southbound traffic will be diverted to use the eastern bore of the tunnel.

The bores have separate height restrictions and overheight vehicles will be diverted via the M25.

When Dart Charge comes into operation, the way people pay the Dartford Crossing charge will change. Drivers will no longer pay at the crossing barriers; instead they will be able to pay in advance or before midnight the day after crossing. Payment methods will include pre-pay accounts which qualify for discounted travel, online, by text, at retail outlets, over the phone or by post. Drivers who do not pay will face a penalty charge.

Non-UK users will be able to use the same payment channels. The automatic number plate recognition system will recognise non-UK vehicles and if there is any doubt number plates can be reviewed manually.

Existing Dart Tag account holders do not need to do anything yet, they will be contacted by the Highways Agency in September/October with details of how to move to the new account.

Once Dart Charge is introduced in October work will then begin to remove the payment booths and introduce the new road layout.

For further information and to receive updates on the introduction of Dart Charge and opening an account, see GOV.UK Dart Charge.

The closures and diversions from Wednesday are as follows:

date time closure diversion route
Friday 16 May 9pm to 6am Eastern bore Dartford Tunnel Vehicles up to 4.8m high can use the western bore of the Dartford Tunnel. Vehicles above 4.8m high will be diverted via the M25 Clockwise.
Sunday 18 May 8.30pm to 5.30am Western bore Dartford Tunnel Traffic will be diverted via the eastern bore of the Dartford Tunnel. This bore has a height restriction of 5.03m.
Monday 19 May 10pm to 5.30am QEII Bridge Vehicles up to 5.03m high will be diverted via the eastern bore of the Dartford Tunnel (with reversed flow in operation). Vehicles over 5.03m high will be diverted via the M25 anti-clockwise. A282 northbound traffic will be restricted to the western bore which is restricted to vehicles up to 4.8m high. Over height vehicles will be diverted via the M25 clockwise.
Tuesday 20 May 10pm to 5.30am QEII Bridge Vehicles up to 5.03m high will be diverted via the eastern bore of the Dartford Tunnel (with reversed flow in operation). Vehicles over 5.03m high will be diverted via the M25 anti-clockwise. A282 northbound traffic will be restricted to the western bore which is restricted to vehicles up to 4.8m high. Overheight vehicles will be diverted via the M25 clockwise.
Wednesday 21 May 10pm to 5:30am QEII Bridge Vehicles up to 5.03m high will be diverted via the eastern bore of the Dartford Tunnel (with reversed flow in operation). Vehicles over 5.03m high will be diverted via the M25 anti-clockwise. A282 northbound traffic will be restricted to the western bore which is restricted to vehicles up to 4.8m high. Overheight vehicles will be diverted via the M25 clockwise.
Thursday 22 May 10pm to 5:30am QEII Bridge Vehicles up to 5.03m high will be diverted via the eastern bore of the Dartford Tunnel (with reversed flow in operation). Vehicles over 5.03m high will be diverted via the M25 anti-clockwise. A282 northbound traffic will be restricted to the western bore which is restricted to vehicles up to 4.8m high. Overheight vehicles will be diverted via the M25 clockwise.
Tuesday 27 May 10pm to 5:30am QEII Bridge Vehicles up to 5.03m high will be diverted via the eastern bore of the Dartford Tunnel (with reversed flow in operation). Vehicles over 5.03m high will be diverted via the M25 anti-clockwise. A282 northbound traffic will be restricted to the western bore which is restricted to vehicles up to 4.8m high. Overheight vehicles will be diverted via the M25 clockwise.
Wednesday 28 May 10pm to 5:30am QEII Bridge Vehicles up to 5.03m high will be diverted via the eastern bore of the Dartford Tunnel (with reversed flow in operation). Vehicles over 5.03m high will be diverted via the M25 anti-clockwise. A282 northbound traffic will be restricted to the western bore which is restricted to vehicles up to 4.8m high. Overheight vehicles will be diverted via the M25 clockwise.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer

Published 16 May 2014