It’s being reported that motorists are being fined up to £3million for non-payment of the Dartford crossing charge.
London’s Evening Standard quotes figures showing more than 1.5million drivers were hit by penalty charge notices for failing to pay to use the bridge in the period from November 2014 to October last year.
It works out that means drivers could be paying more than £3 million per week if they pay have to pay the maximum £105 fine, which is payable if the charge is not settled within 28 days.
These number refer to the period since the ANPR-or-tag-based free flow charging was introduced replacing the toll booths.
Speaking on LBC Radio, the AA’s Paul Watters, complained that this shows the charge is “clearly is about raising revenue” but that there is no need for it because “in our view because drivers already pay something like £46billion in motoring taxes every single year so anything on top of that is arguably a tax too far.
The Standard quotes a Highways England spokesman saying said: “Dart Charge continues to bring the benefits of relieving congestion and speeding up journeys at the Dartford Crossing; without the charge, traffic volumes would increase and the economic benefits from the Crossing would reduce significantly.
“The vast majority of people are paying the charge on time. Our approach has always been to help drivers comply with the system, pay the charge and avoid penalties. That’s why we waive the first penalties for any vehicle if outstanding crossing charges are paid within 14 days of receipt of the first penalty charge notice.
“It is only fair to those drivers that do pay the charge that we follow up on cases of continued non-payment.”