Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Dartford  /  Dartford Crossing

Dartford Crossing, Dartford

1.0
#6 of 28 in Things to do in Dartford
Lookout · Hidden Gem · Bridge
Create an itinerary including Dartford Crossing
The Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing, commonly known as the Dartford Crossing and until 1991 the Dartford Tunnel, is a major road crossing of the River Thames in England, carrying the A282 road between Dartford in Kent in the south and Thurrock in Essex in the north. It consists of two bored tunnels and the cable-stayed Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. The only fixed road crossing of the Thames east of Greater London, it is the busiest estuarial crossing in the United Kingdom, with an average daily use of over 130,000 vehicles. It opened in stages: the west tunnel in 1963, the east tunnel in 1980 and the bridge in 1991. The crossing, although not officially designated a motorway, is considered part of the M25 motorway's route, using the tunnels northbound and bridge southbound. Described as one of the most important road crossings in Britain, it suffers from heavy traffic and congestion.

The crossing's development started in the late 1930s, but was interrupted due to the Second World War and resumed in the 1950s. The original tunnel catered for a single lane of traffic in each direction, but rising traffic levels required the second tunnel to be built. The M25 connected to the tunnels at both ends when completed in 1986, and this increased traffic put pressure on the tunnels' capacity. A Private Finance Initiative scheme was started in 1988 to build the bridge. The combined crossing now handles four lanes of traffic in each direction.

The crossing has always been tolled, and though the cost of construction has since been paid back, the toll was retained, and rebranded as a congestion pricing scheme from 1 April 2003. Since 2008 it has been free from 10 pm to 6 am. An automatic number plate recognition charging scheme named the "Dart Charge" began in November 2014. As a result, the booths on the Kent side were removed and the charge is now only payable online, by post, or in certain participating retail outlets. A residents' scheme is available, offering discounts for people living near the crossing.
Take a look at our Dartford trip builder app to schedule your visit to Dartford Crossing and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Source
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Dartford Crossing reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 2.0
452 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We are all busy and it's so easy to forget to pay especially when you have never used this crossing before or use it very rarely. Went over by one day and realised I hadn't paid so called them with... 
    We are all busy and it's so easy to forget to pay especially when you have never used this crossing before or use it very rarely. Went over by one day and realised I hadn't paid so called them with...  more »
  • 70 for forgetting to pat the charge. Crossing withing the hour. Both crossings. Robbing crooks. If you can go another way please do. Taking the Mick 
    70 for forgetting to pat the charge. Crossing withing the hour. Both crossings. Robbing crooks. If you can go another way please do. Taking the Mick  more »

Plan your trip to Dartford

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.