Highways England wanted to improve traffic flow at the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing where drivers (in excess of 130,000 on average every day) were queuing for up to 30 minutes at peak time. The wait at the toll booths and barriers was contributing significantly to the delays.
To cut congestion, PA delivered a major project to automate the crossing. This included removing the payment booths and reconfiguring the road layout, as well as putting in place an advance payment and automatic number plate recognition system so drivers can pay the charge online or by phone. We led the tender process to source the management of the charging and enforcement system and then managed the provider to ensure the system operated effectively. We also supported Highways England in delivering a multi-channel communications campaign so they could be confident that crossing users knew about the changes and understood how to pay the charge remotely.
Our work has reduced journey times by up to 18 minutes and cleared congestion at peak times, while ensuring the Department for Transport continues to receive around £100 million in revenue from crossing charges each year. In total, the upgraded crossing is expected to deliver £1.3 billion in benefits to the UK economy over the next 30 years.