To reduce congestion the Dartford Crossings operates a remote payment method called Dart Charge. Payment is required for each trip both northbound and southbound. You can pay in advance or until midnight the following day. It is free to use the crossing between 10pm and 6am.
Dartford tunnel Northbound safety system
- The Dartford Crossings operates a Traffic Safety System to ensure over height vehicles don’t enter the smaller west (left) tunnel.
- The safety management cell identifies, stops and turns around vehicles that may pose a safety risk, such as over-sized vehicles or those carrying dangerous loads, before they enter the tunnels. National Highways' Dartford Crossing: Overheight vehicle extraction video and leaflet Government - Dartford Tunnel safety leaflet explains how the tunnel traffic safety system operates.
- Drivers carrying hazardous loads should exit at junction 1a and follow signage to the vehicle marshalling area where they can be checked and escorted through the Crossing.
- Drivers who exceed the speed limits, or drive through red lights are liable to receive fines and points on their licence.
Paying the Dart Charge
Setting up a pre-pay account is the cheapest way to pay and you will receive a discount using this option. One-off payments can be made in advance or by midnight the day after crossing.
How to pay the dart charge:
Set up a pre-pay account.
Online at Pay the Dartford Crossing charge (Dart Charge).
Over the phone by calling 0300 300 0120.
Via a payzone retail outlet.
- By post (in advance only) to Dart Charge Customer Services, PO Box 842, Leeds, LS1 9QF.
The Lower Thames Crossing campaign
Whilst the introduction of free flow charging at the Dartford crossing has improved journey times (in particular southbound over the QEII Bridge), the crossing is capacity constrained. A new Lower Thames Crossing is urgently needed to add much needed additional capacity, provide resilience in the road network and to support growth in East Kent and South Essex. Logistics UK has been campaigning for the construction of a new crossing for many years and in April 2017, the Secretary of State for Transport confirmed the route for the new crossing. Logistics UK continues to work with the project team developing the plans for the new crossing to ensure that it meets the needs of industry.
Find out more
Logistics UK Lower Thames Crossing Campaign