Queen Elizabeth II Bridge
|Queen Elizabeth II Bridge|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|The Crossing from the air.|
|Essex • Kent|
The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge is a river crossing on the A282 (not the M25 as commonly believed). It spans the River Thames between Thurrock in Essex and Dartford in Kent, carrying southbound traffic. Northbound traffic goes via the Dartford Tunnel, which form the other half of the Dartford Crossing.
An image of the Bridge forms the logo for Dartford Borough Council.
The completion of the section of the M25 south of Swanley resulted in a substantial increase in traffic through the Dartford Tunnel, to the extent that a third crossing was announced in 1987. This third crossing became the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, although it is sometimes referred to as the Dartford Bridge. The bridge opened on the 30th October 1991 and traffic volumes are still increasing, with a fourth crossing proposed as one possibility (the other being a new crossing downstream bypassing the Dartford area).
The crossing has always been tolled since the first tunnel was constructed. The original toll was 6d for cars. and these days are controversial. Capital repayment of the crossing was completed in 2003 and local opinion was for the tolls to be axed. The tolls became part-time and since 2012 the charge has been free for motorcycles, £2.00 for cars, £2.50 for 2 axle goods vehicles and £5.00 for multi axle goods vehicles. No charges are levied between 10pm and 6am.
An electronic tag system called DART-Tag was used, which gave a discounted rate of £1.00 for cars, £1.75 for 2 axle goods vehicles and £3.20 for multi axle goods - this used a transponder in the car window..
The retention of the tolls has been caused further disquiet due to all tolls in Scotland being axed after devolution, making the tolls a significant local issue for Dartford and the surrounding area. However a local resident scheme has been introduced for an annual fee of £10 locals received a DART-Tag with 50 journeys included in the price, with further journeys charged at 20p. Disabled drivers are exempt from charge but must pre register their vehicle.
From 30th November 2014 onwards, the toll is no longer collected at toll booths at the southern end of the crossing; instead, ANPR cameras record the registration of vehicles using the crossing, and the charge must be paid either in advance or by midnight the day after the crossing, either online, by phone or in certain shops, in a similar arrangement to the Congestion Charge. At this time the tolls were also increased when payment is made afterwards (eg £2.50 for cars), but reduced for payment in advance (£1.67 for cars, rising to £2.00 from 01.10.2018).
In the very early years, there was a special bus service that ran for bikes, however this wasn't well used so a mini-bus taking the bikes was introduced.
- HA site
- Statistics About The Dartford Bridge
- More info about the special buses
- A you Tube video of the Dartford Bridge