New Dartford crossing scheme will allow motorists to pay by text

From November, motorists on the M25 driving through the Dartford Crossing will be able to pay online, via text message or at one of thousands of retail outlets.

The new Dart Charge scheme will mean drivers no longer have to stop at a booth to pay, reports hertsandessexobserver.co.uk. It’s hoped the change will dramatically help traffic flow, helping preventing queues around the QEII Bridge, although the full benefits may not be seen until April 2015 when the road layout will be completed.

Originally due to open in October, the Highways Agency announced the postponement last week in a bid to ensure the website, systems and new infrastructure are fully tested. Project leader Nigel Gray said to kentonline.co.uk: “Dart Charge is a massive change for drivers using the Dartford Crossing and it’s only right that it is thoroughly tested before being introduced.”

Saying hello to technology and goodbye to toll booths, the Highways agency has reassured that pre-pay accounts will open well in advance of the changes, and that drivers will have enough notice to prepare for the new system. Gray said: “They will have considerable time to sign up for a pre-pay account, which for most will be the easiest and cheapest way to pay the charge, with discounts of up to a third on every crossing.”

Until Dart Charge goes live, the current payment arrangements for road users at the crossing will continue.