From Saturday people already registered in the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme, and those eligible to register, will be able to make unlimited trips over the crossing for £20 a year. Existing account holders and new applicants will need to make a fresh application to join the improved scheme.
This option is open to local residents who privately own a two-axle vehicle.
For those making fewer trips, less than 100 crossings a year, the existing scheme which allows residents to pay £10 for 50 trips a year and 20p for each crossing thereafter will continue.
A further improvement, a move to cut bureaucracy, will mean residents registered on the scheme will only have to send in their vehicle documentation every two years, rather than annually as has been the case until now.
These changes were announced by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in September 2013.
Local residents can apply for the scheme at any time by completing the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme application form which, along with the full terms and conditions of the new scheme, is available at the Customer Centre, Crossing Offices or at the Information Point at the Crossing Offices. The form can also be downloaded from the DART-Tag website.
To confirm eligibility residents will need to provide proof of residence within the Dartford or Thurrock Council boundaries and proof of vehicle ownership.
People not eligible for the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme can apply to join the standard DART-Tag scheme and receive discounts every time they use the crossing. This is open to all road users.
The Crossing offices are located off the A282 at junction 1a, at South Orbital Road, Dartford, Kent, DA1 5PR. They are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm. The telephone number is 01322 280200.
From October 2014 more improvements are being made at the Crossing. The way drivers pay to use the Crossing will change. Under the new free-flow or ‘remote payment’ system, drivers will no longer pay the charge at a barrier as they cross; instead there will be several ways to pay, including online, by text message, at one of many retail outlets, or by phone.
It will still be cheaper and easier to have an account and it will still be free to use the Crossing between 10pm and 6am. Drivers who do not pay the charge will face a penalty.
Drivers including account holders do not need to do anything at this stage. Further details will be announced nearer the time.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer