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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK
MPs attack crossing charge plans
Toll booths by the Dartford crossing
Dart-Tag drivers would not see a rise in daytime charges
A group of MPs have attacked plans to increase charges for motorists using the Dartford River Crossing to travel between Kent and Essex.

Proposals to increase daytime charges by 50% were announced last week by Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman.

Essex MPs Bob Russell (Lib Dem) and Bob Spink (Tory) along with Hertfordshire MP Mike Penning (Tory) have tabled a Commons motion expressing concern.

They are calling for all toll charges to be scrapped as originally planned.

'Review in parliament'

The three MPs have pointed out that toll was supposed to have been dropped when the crossing had paid for itself, which happened some years ago.

They have also said the charge discriminates unfairly against the people of Kent and Essex.

At the very least, they said, the 70m raised each year should be spent improving the road structure in the two counties.

They have asked for the government to withdraw its proposals to increase the daytime charge from 1 to 1.50 and "to review in parliament the principles of charging a toll".

Under the proposals drivers opting to use the pre-paid electronic Dart-Tag system would receive a 50p discount.

Night-time charges would be scrapped.

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