An investigation by the BBC suggests there have been nearly 3.5m fines issued to drivers for not paying the Dartford Crossing charge since it went free flow nearly two years ago.
It says that answers to a Freedom of Information request to the Highways England have showed that over that time, fines unpaid by UK-based drivers have topped half a million, with more than a quarter of a million going unpaid this year alone.
The report says Highways England insist enforcement action is continuing on the vast majority of cases, but BBC South East found examples where it had not enforced the fine for the first offence.
It quotes Edmund King, president of the AA calling for clearer signage and more pay-zones along with “more targeted enforcement for drivers who regularly don’t pay”, while Natalie Chapman, from the Freight Transport Association, says non-payers should be chased up whether in the UK or overseas.
A Highways England spokesman told the BBC, “the vast majority of drivers are paying their Dart Charge correctly – more than 93% overall.
“Since it was introduced more than £150m has been collected from Dart Charge, money that is being ploughed back into UK transport.
“We enforce payment of Dart Charge here and abroad and are recovering those charges every day.”
Highways England says the Dart Charge has cut northbound crossings by six minutes and southbound crossings by more than seven minutes.