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Last Updated: Friday, 17 December, 2004, 11:19 GMT
More tunnel cash bid for Dartford
Toll booths by the Dartford crossing
There is a flat rate of 1 for car drivers who use the crossing
People in and around Dartford should benefit more from the crossing toll and be given a discount, an MP has said.

Since 2002, 1m of the 50m collected from the Dartford Crossing toll each year is earmarked for transport improvements in north Kent.

Dartford MP Howard Stoate wants more of the money to benefit the area to make up for the pollution and congestion.

The Department for Transport said the 1m on top of other grants for transport was a "generous settlement".

'Significant discount'

Mr Stoate said: "I do not think 2% is enough to compensate the people in north Kent for the increase in traffic congestion and pollution that they have suffered and I want significant extra money.

"I would like it to be more like 5m rather than 1m so we can have dome genuine improvements in traffic and pollution management so the people of Dartford feel like they have got something back from the toll.

"I am also asking that people living in the area should not have to pay full price.

Howard Stoate
Mr Stoate says north Kent residents should pay less at the crossing

"People who either work or have to take children to school across the bridge or tunnel every day I think should be given a significant discount."

A spokesman for the Department for Transport (DfT) said the authorities in Thurrock and Kent each received 1m of additional funding from the toll revenue.

This was on top of the grant given to all local authorities for transport from the government.

"It was a generous settlement to get an extra 1m," he said.

The DfT spokesman said: "Regular users of the crossing can get a a discount of 7.5% if they apply for a Dart-Tag which makes the journey cheaper."

A decision to stop charging motorists for the tunnel and bridge was dropped about a year-and-half ago by the government.

It said the toll was needed to stop even more traffic using the crossing.

Most stress at Dartford crossing
08 Mar 04 |  England

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