Minister fails to answer question on toll charges

David Amess, Member of Parliament for Southend West, today asked the Department of Transport to clarify the future of tolls for users of the Dartford Crossing after the Government last week announced its intended sale.

The understanding under the previous Conservative Government had been that, once construction costs had been met and an adequate maintenance fund had been established, the tolls would cease. Those costs had been covered by April 2003, but the Labour Government has retained the charge since that time in what has widely been criticised as another Labour “stealth tax”.

The Government has announced the sale of £16bn worth of assets, including the Dartford Crossing, to help pay its crippling debts. The Minister could not answer how the sale would affect the promise to end the tolls.