People who save money by paying in advance to use the Dartford Crossing are having their discount cut.
The change by Highways England will see thousands of owners of B-class vehicles – cars, motorhomes and minibuses with up to nine seats – who have a pre-paid Dart Charge account having to fork out £2 per crossing instead of the existing £1.67. The increase will come into play on October 1. Those without a pre-paid account pay £2.50 per crossing.
A spokesperson for the government-owned company said: “More people are benefiting from discounted charges at the Dartford Crossing than ever before.
“Since Dart Charge launched in 2014, more than a million people have signed up for a Dart Charge pre-pay account and save money on every crossing. With over 55 million vehicles travelling over the Dartford Crossing every year, there is an ongoing need to manage increasing demand at the crossing. “The Department for Transport has reviewed how fairly the benefits to account holders are spread across different vehicle types and have aligned the Class B rate more closely to Classes C and D. From 1 October 2018, the new discounted rate for Class B vehicles at the Dartford Crossing will be £2.”
Since the Dart Charge was introduced, drivers of Class B vehicles have received discounts amounting to £59.4m. Despite these drivers being affected by the cut in discount, other vehicle classes remain unaffected, as do people who qualify for the Local Residents’ Discount Scheme for those living in Dartford and Thurrock.
All standard rate charges remain unchanged as well.
The Dart Charge payment is no longer made at the barriers. Instead, it has to be done in advance or by midnight the following day. The crossing is free between 10pm and 6am.