East London facing stealth tax from Dartford tolls, Assembly’ chief warns

The London Assembly’s budget chairman has written to the Department of Transport today over plans to increase the Dartford toll which he says will force more traffic through the already-congested Blackwall Tunnel.

John Biggs, Assembly member for the City & East London, is arguing the increases of up to 66 per cent are a ‘stealth tax’.

“It’s not necessary to raise the tolls as the current charges more than cover operating costs,” he said.

“Discounts may apply to residents of the local authorities either end of the river crossing—but it remains the only feasible route for many others in neighbouring areas along the Thames.

“The increased charges are exacerbated by lack of alternatives for many drivers and will have the effect of encouraging those with a choice to switch to the Blackwall Tunnel.”

The increased charges are due to go up by next year from �1.50 to �2.50 for cars, �2 to �3 for small vans and �3.70 to �6 for heavy lorries.

John Biggs is urging the motoring public to take part in online consultations at https://consultation.dft.gov.uk/dft/2011-08