More than 100,000 vehicles have registered for a Dart Charge account, the Highways Agency has revealed.
Since account registrations went live on 5 November up to 2,200 people every hour have visited the Dart Charge website to sign up for a pre-pay account, which means they’ll save up to a third on each crossing. Setting up an account takes less than seven minutes on average, and around 30% of accounts have been set up using a smartphone or tablet.
To help ease congestion at the Dartford Crossing from 30 November drivers will no longer stop at a barrier to pay the Crossing charge. Instead, they will pay Dart Charge online, by phone or post or at one of thousands of retailers nationwide.
Highways Agency project director Nigel Gray said: “For most people using the Dartford Crossing, a prepay account will be the cheapest and most convenient way to pay the crossing charge. I’m really encouraged by the take up so far, but urge all drivers who use the Crossing to sign up for an account and benefit from the discount it offers.”
Fleet operators and haulage firms have been among the first to sign up. 1,157 business fleets have already been migrated to Dart Charge, and the Dart Charge team are working with the 100 largest fleet operators – between them covering more than 20,000 vehicles – to help them prepare for the changes.
Foreign drivers have been setting up accounts too, with 3% of overall accounts – around the same proportion of foreign vehicles that that use the crossing each day. Registrations from 52 different countries have been received so far.
Work to remove the payment booths and introduce a new road layout will begin on 28 November and will be completed in spring 2015 when drivers will feel the full benefits of the improvements. All road works are being planned to minimise disruption.