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Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Road Traffic

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 20418, tabled on 16 December 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps are being taken to reduce congestion at the northbound entrance to the Dartford Tunnel caused by lorries carrying dangerous cargo being stopped and investigated.

Answered on

11 January 2016

Highways England is continuing to work to reduce times for dangerous goods vehicles which are prohibited from entering the tunnels and need to be removed, or to release vehicles in escorted convoys to ensure smooth traffic flow while ensuring safety of users. Since the road layout changes at the Crossing were completed in 2015, fewer but larger convoys are used to minimise disruption with the number of convoys reducing to 70 - 80 per day from around 110 per day, which equates to a reduction of around a third.

Clear road signs already provide advance instruction for drivers of dangerous goods vehicles and are enforceable by regulations. Work is also underway with the freight industry to educate drivers of restricted vehicles what lane or route to take to avoid being stopped, which causes delays for other drivers.