Dartford toll enforcement generates 57% revenue rise

New enforcement measures brought into operation as part of the introduction of the Dart Charge at the Dartford Crossing in November 2014 helped generate a 57% rise in revenue in the year to 31 March 2015, Highways England has said. 

Total income from the crossing amounted to £145.9m, compared with £92.4m in the previous year.

Highways England’s latest financial report said the £53m increase was largely down to enforcement management measures introduced through the Dart Charge scheme, as well as an increase in crossings. Of the total, £64.3m came from toll operation and £81.5m from the Dart Charge. 

The rise in income was offset, however, by a £65m increase in expenditure to £125.5m. Highways England said this was down to infrastructure spending for the Dart Charge scheme – including the removal of toll booths, road realignment and the introduction of sensors and other traffic control measures to deal with HGVs. It was also down to its policy of waiving first penalty charges where vehicle owners paid the normal charge and other irrecoverable penalty charges. 

Its report showed nearly £64m of spending on the Dart Charge and nearly £40m of impairment to income. Net proceeds for the year came to £20.4m (2014: £32.1m), therefore. 

Malcolm Bingham, head of road network management policy at the FTA, said the rise in revenue at the crossing was not surprising in view of the additional enforcement measures and the increase in charges brought about when the Dart Charge came into effect. 

While early problems with the Dart Charge system have now been largely resolved, added Bingham, the FTA remained concerned about delays caused by northbound trucks being in the wrong lane on the approach because of the “counterintuitive” requirement for them to keep right for the larger bore tunnel. 

Tackling non-payment by trucks registered outside the UK was also a big issue, said Bingham.  

CV industry report now available to download

The 2016 edition of the Overview of the UK Commercial Vehicle Industry report, produced on behalf of Texaco Lubricants, is now available to download for free.

The sixth edition of this annual report will inform readers of the current composition of the UK commercial vehicle parc and those who operate within it and give an insight into commercial vehicle sales – with a detailed analysis of sales in 2015 alongside historic buying patterns.

It looks at the number and availability of skilled commercial vehicle drivers; the domestic and international activity in the freight market; and the standard of vehicle maintenance and vehicle compliance.

CM managing editor, and author of the report, Christopher Walton, said: “This report gives anyone involved in the industry valuable insight into the current state of the road transport nation. 

“It analyses the statistics, trends and issues that inform the buying process for commercial vehicles and is essential reading for anyone who works in the industry.

“The findings of the report point towards a road transport industry in the UK that, having come out of a slow recession, is looking healthy.”

Download it at motortransport.co.uk/cv-report-2016