Leader of Havering Residents’ Association starts petition to have Dartford Crossing renamed Dick Turpin Way

The leader of Havering Residents’ Association is calling for the Dartford Crossing to be renamed Dick Turpin Way after a decision by the government to increase the toll to �2.50.

Cllr Clarence Barrett (RA, Cranham) has set up a petition on the government’s e petition website calling for the change of name of the crossing.

Cllr Barrett said: “This is nothing more than Highway robbery The crossing (A282) is also known as Canterbury Way, as such I have put a petition on the Government e-petition website which calls for it to be renamed ‘Dick Turpin Way’ as it’s far more appropriate!”

From October this year, the toll for the Dartford Crossing is set to rise from �1.50 to �2 and then by a further 50p to �2.50 in October 2014 when electronic charging is set to be introduced.

The Department of Transport claim the increase is needed to fund a system of charging by number plate recognition and to pay for a new Thames crossing.

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Cllr Barrett said: “This is outrageous. In the official consultation carried out by the Department of Transport last year, 82 per cent of respondents were against any increase. What was the point of the consultation when this government is simply going to ignore what people say and do what they want anyway?

“Some 150,000 vehicles use the crossing every day, generating around �70 million per year in toll fees - along with a great deal of congestion, pollution and wasted cost to businesses. After operational costs are deducted a surplus of �45 million is picked up by the government. This is more than enough to fund number plate recognition technology without having to increase the toll”.

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He added: “We are in a double dip recession and we desperately need to do what we can to help businesses flourish and to stimulate economic growth.

“Instead this is simply punishes the ordinary motorist and businesses who have little choice but to use the crossing.”

The petition can be viewed and signed at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34183

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