Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

The study of British and Irish roads - their construction, numbering, history, mapping, past and future official roads proposals and general roads musings.

There is a separate forum for Street Furniture (traffic lights, street lights, road signs etc).

Registered users get access to other forums including discussions about other forms of transport, driving, fantasy roads and wishlists, and roads quizzes.

Moderator: Site Management Team

Post Reply
User avatar
Ritchie333
Elected Committee Member
Posts: 10469
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 20:40
Location: Ashford, Kent
Contact:

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Ritchie333 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 14:50

I drove through the crossing for the first time in a while last night. Northbound there was a red light due to an overheight vehicle, which caused a queue of about 2-3 minutes. Inside the tunnel traffic was doing an average speed of 40-45.

Coming back the other way, however, was incredible. It was the first time I can remember the QEII bridge being free flowing, and felt more like the Severn Bridge. No stopping, straight into Kent. Excellent.
--
SABRE Maps - all the best maps in one place....

WHBM
Member
Posts: 7946
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 18:01
Location: London

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by WHBM » Thu Sep 03, 2015 15:35

ronA1066 wrote: Removal of the toll booths was supposed to solve the crossing's congestion problems but, if anything, it seems to have made things worse.
There are still traffic signals approaching the tunnels. Dartford has always had a paranoia about fuel tankers, they are escorted through with other traffic held back. They marshal initially in the large layby to the west side of where the tollbooths used to be. For whatever reason the key criteria seems to be to avoid any delay to the tankers, so as soon as there are a couple there the traffic is stopped and the tankers escorted out. A few minutes later, repeat. Hence the queues.

User avatar
michael769
Member
Posts: 11325
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 20:36
Location: Polbeth, West Lothian
Contact:

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by michael769 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 16:41

multiraider2 wrote:Even with the barriers and toll, the traffic always seemed to mysteriously speed up upon approach to the exit of the tunnel. This is clearly not through the disappearance of any traffic at the exit of the tunnel, so is the only explanation that individual vehicles travelled at much less than the 50 limit and sped up as exiting the tunnel, despite no change in speed limit? This continuined in exactly the same fashion on removal of the barriers.
Does the tunnel have much of a slope? Inattentive drivers often slow in response to a gradient, when the gradient is non obvious (as is often the case in tunnels) that makes this effect even worse.
Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open
Thomas Robert Dewar(1864-1930)
Take the pledge

User avatar
PeterA5145
Member
Posts: 25328
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 00:19
Location: Stockport, Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by PeterA5145 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 16:51

IIRC there is a lower speed limit through the tunnels, probably 50.

This on its own will disrupt the flow of traffic and potentially send concertina waves back many miles.

Also simply entering a tunnel will result in many drivers easing up a bit.
“With regard to freedom of speech there are basically two positions: you defend it vigorously for views you hate, or you reject it and prefer Stalinist/Fascist standards. It is unfortunate that it remains necessary to stress these simple truths.” – Noam Chomsky

User avatar
michael769
Member
Posts: 11325
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 20:36
Location: Polbeth, West Lothian
Contact:

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by michael769 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 17:02

PeterA5145 wrote:
Also simply entering a tunnel will result in many drivers easing up a bit.
It didn't in the Clyde Tunnel. Though that may have changed these days, it's been some years since I went through.

Back when I did use it regularly it was a bit like the wacky races. The Limit was 30, but you'd rarely see anyone going under 50.
Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open
Thomas Robert Dewar(1864-1930)
Take the pledge

t1(M)
Member
Posts: 7281
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2002 23:15
Location: kingston-upon-thames

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by t1(M) » Thu Sep 03, 2015 17:54

michael769 wrote:Does the tunnel have much of a slope? Inattentive drivers often slow in response to a gradient, when the gradient is non obvious (as is often the case in tunnels) that makes this effect even worse.
The gradient coming out of the tunnel is extremely obvious, so much so that I imagine some HGVs would struggle to maintain 50 on it

User avatar
multiraider2
Member
Posts: 3092
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 17:42

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by multiraider2 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 18:01

t1(M) wrote:
michael769 wrote:Does the tunnel have much of a slope? Inattentive drivers often slow in response to a gradient, when the gradient is non obvious (as is often the case in tunnels) that makes this effect even worse.
The gradient coming out of the tunnel is extremely obvious, so much so that I imagine some HGVs would struggle to maintain 50 on it
It seems to be on the slope up that the speed increases generally. It seems to be daylight that is the driver of the increase. People won't speed or apparently get near to it in the tunnel, but on the way back home on the bridge, with an equivalent slope and with me travelling at an indicated 51 mph, everyone seemed to be passing me. Trucks included.

User avatar
Berk
Member
Posts: 8905
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 02:36
Location: somewhere in zone 1

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Berk » Thu Sep 03, 2015 19:04

multiraider2 wrote:
t1(M) wrote:
michael769 wrote:Does the tunnel have much of a slope? Inattentive drivers often slow in response to a gradient, when the gradient is non obvious (as is often the case in tunnels) that makes this effect even worse.
The gradient coming out of the tunnel is extremely obvious, so much so that I imagine some HGVs would struggle to maintain 50 on it
It seems to be on the slope up that the speed increases generally. It seems to be daylight that is the driver of the increase. People won't speed or apparently get near to it in the tunnel, but on the way back home on the bridge, with an equivalent slope and with me travelling at an indicated 51 mph, everyone seemed to be passing me. Trucks included.
Very much so, this was my experience. It was a cloudy evening, with light rain. ATM was active, but most traffic was driving at 10mph below the indicated limits (basically according to what the next sign along was saying. Down to only 30 on tunnel approaches. Despite green lights all the way, and just 15 when first inside the tunnel. Not really how a highway is meant to operate... I didn't even think the traffic was particularly heavy.

The gradient did surprise me a little though. And presumably other drivers even more so.

User avatar
Lockwood
Member
Posts: 2996
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 14:44
Location: Havant, Hampshire

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Lockwood » Sun Sep 20, 2015 17:12

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... dacted.pdf
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST - DART CHARGE
Thank you for your emails under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requesting further
information about Dart Charge. The specific details of your request have been extracted from
your email and are highlighted in bold below and answered within the body of this letter.
1. What is the overall income in fines from Dart Charge crossings?
Between 30 November 2014 to 31 August 2015 the value of Penalty Charges that have been
paid is £4,837,013.39.
Just a few, then

User avatar
Big L
Assistant Site Manager
Posts: 5059
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 20:36
Location: B5012

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Big L » Sun Sep 20, 2015 17:37

Lockwood wrote:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... dacted.pdf
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST - DART CHARGE
Thank you for your emails under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requesting further
information about Dart Charge. The specific details of your request have been extracted from
your email and are highlighted in bold below and answered within the body of this letter.
1. What is the overall income in fines from Dart Charge crossings?
Between 30 November 2014 to 31 August 2015 the value of Penalty Charges that have been
paid is £4,837,013.39.
Just a few, then
And what is the value of penalty charges not paid I wonder?
Make poetry history.

Did you know there's more to SABRE than just the Forums?
Add your roads knowledge to the SABRE Wiki today!
Have you browsed SABRE Maps recently? Try getting involved!

User avatar
Berk
Member
Posts: 8905
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 02:36
Location: somewhere in zone 1

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Berk » Sun Sep 20, 2015 18:33

I experienced a slightly different problem. I paid in advance before my trip, a week early in fact. Which should've been fine, you might think. Apart from the fact that the system was claiming my trip was unpaid the day after my crossing.

So, rather than risk a PCN being automatically issued. I paid again. Better to lose another £2.50, I thought, than £35 for an unwarranted PCN. I did mean to complain about the extra £2.50, but for various reasons haven't been able to.

I've now set up an account, which I discovered does not need to be pre-funded. So in future, I'll just pay for the crossings I need, and top my account up accordingly.

User avatar
Ritchie333
Elected Committee Member
Posts: 10469
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 20:40
Location: Ashford, Kent
Contact:

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Ritchie333 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:19

I forgot I was slightly over the allowance on my account and a round trip to Essex has netted £70 in fines :(
--
SABRE Maps - all the best maps in one place....

User avatar
c2R
SABRE Wiki admin
Posts: 9542
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2002 11:01

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by c2R » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:52

Ritchie333 wrote:I forgot I was slightly over the allowance on my account and a round trip to Essex has netted £70 in fines :(
Indeed - that's why I pre-funded mine with automatic top up as my memory's dreadful and I know that I'd forget to pay..
Is there a road improvement project going on near you? Help us to document it on the SABRE Wiki - help is availabile in the Digest forum.

User avatar
multiraider2
Member
Posts: 3092
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 17:42

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by multiraider2 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 13:21

The £10 that I keep in there (minimum) takes away completely from any "Have I topped it up enough?" worries. I know the minimum was causing some consternation on here but for £10 or even £20, its a complete no-brainer as far as I am concerned.

User avatar
Berk
Member
Posts: 8905
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 02:36
Location: somewhere in zone 1

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Berk » Tue Sep 22, 2015 17:16

multiraider2 wrote:The £10 that I keep in there (minimum) takes away completely from any "Have I topped it up enough?" worries. I know the minimum was causing some consternation on here but for £10 or even £20, its a complete no-brainer as far as I am concerned.
I guess it is, if you live in the south, or use the crossing regularly.

But for people like myself, it's but an occasional 'treat'. I don't see what the problem is with people like myself having an account, and not funding it unless they need to pay. Pre-loading funds for occasional users smacks of making money/use of 'float'. In other words lending money to the business/increasing the margin/operating profit, etc. etc.

Andy33gmail
Member
Posts: 3789
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 09:26
Location: Littleport, Ely, Cambridge

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Andy33gmail » Tue Sep 22, 2015 17:19

Just go the other way round :-D

User avatar
Berk
Member
Posts: 8905
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 02:36
Location: somewhere in zone 1

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Berk » Tue Sep 22, 2015 17:29

Andy33gmail wrote:Just go the other way round :-D
What, into the cesspit of congestion that forms the western half?? Braving Jcts 10-13?? And the Heathrow section?? Not bloody likely...

And how many more miles would that add to my journey?? I'm hardly one of those desperate types who are so determined to avoid tolls, even if they lost more in petrol and miles than they possibly could in charges...

Andy33gmail
Member
Posts: 3789
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 09:26
Location: Littleport, Ely, Cambridge

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Andy33gmail » Tue Sep 22, 2015 17:58

Amphibious car?

User avatar
Berk
Member
Posts: 8905
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 02:36
Location: somewhere in zone 1

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Berk » Tue Sep 22, 2015 18:05

Andy33gmail wrote:Amphibious car?
Nice try. :great

Comstock
Banned
Posts: 4199
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 15:57
Location: Derby

Re: Dartford Crossing - Free Flow Charging

Post by Comstock » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:07

Berk wrote:
Andy33gmail wrote:Just go the other way round :-D
What, into the cesspit of congestion that forms the western half?? Braving Jcts 10-13?? And the Heathrow section?? Not bloody likely...

And how many more miles would that add to my journey?? I'm hardly one of those desperate types who are so determined to avoid tolls, even if they lost more in petrol and miles than they possibly could in charges...
£70 worth of fines (how long before that becomes £100+) buys quite a lot of petrol. Go the other way or use blackwall if you are so far east that going round isn't an option.

Where are you coming from and to?

Post Reply