England

Dartford Crossing discount: 'More people should benefit'

Dartford Crossing
Image caption From next March local people will be able to use the Dartford to Thurrock river crossing as much as they like for an annual fee of £20

A discount scheme for local people to have unlimited use of the Dartford Crossing should be widened, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.

Residents within the Dartford Borough Council and Thurrock Council boundaries will pay £20 a year from next March.

The Department for Transport said they were the most affected by traffic.

Neville Gaunt, of the federation's north Kent branch, said it should be extended to those in neighbouring areas like Gravesham, Bexley and Sevenoaks.

'Considerable saving'

He said there were many local businesses who traded in Essex and east London who used the Dartford to Thurrock river crossing but who did not receive a discount.

"It will cut the cost... it's £5 a day round trip so if we're going to get it for £20 a year flat fee then that's going to have a considerable saving," he said.

The current cost for non-local drivers is £2 for cars and £2.50 for light-goods vehicles.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said: "The government has looked closely and carefully considered the possibility of extending the local resident discount scheme.

"However it was felt that those communities who live in Dartford and Thurrock and who are most affected by the traffic should be the ones that benefit the most."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites