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Havering residents miss out on Dartford Crossing discount

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 November 2015

The Queen Elizabeth II bridge at the Dartford crossing of the River Thames.

The Queen Elizabeth II bridge at the Dartford crossing of the River Thames.

PA/EMPICS

Thousands of commuters just miles from the Dartford Crossing are missing out on discounted journeys as part of a “bizarre” scheme because of the local authority they come under.

Residents from Thurrock and Dartford have saved £1million per year thanks to the Dartford Crossing Local Resident Discount Scheme, giving them slashed prices on travelling.

But despite being as close as four miles away from the crossing, Havering residents are excluded from the deal meant only for those based within the Dartford and Thurrock Borough Councils.

Cllr Clarence Barrett, (East Havering Residents’ Group, Cranham),is calling for changes to the way the scheme is carried out.

He said: “If you look at the distance between parts of Havering and other boroughs, you can see that many residents here are closer but don’t benefit.

“I think it is unfair that we are not included and there should be a review into rolling out the scheme based on mileage rather than local authority.”

The programme allows Dartford and Thurrock residents to have unlimited use of the crossing for just £20 per year or £10 for 50 journeys with extra travel priced at 20p.

Those allowed to benefit from the scheme is decided by the Department for Transport.

In a report published by the Department for Transport on the scheme, it says: “We have considered interventions including eligibility based on distance from the crossing.

“It is considered technically feasibly in that it could be implemented and operated through extending the current LRDS (local resident discount scheme) application, renewal and enforcement mechanisms.

“Replacing the existing Dartford and Thurrock local authority-based residency eligibility criteria with a solely distance-based criteria would be problematic as a very large area would become eligible for a discount.

“For this reason it is not recommended as an option to take forward unless, perhaps, considered as part of a wider sub-regional approach to providing discounts at other crossing locations.”

The department was not able to comment further before the time of going to press.


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