Some 154,502 foreign-registered trucks failed to pay the £6 toll charge last year!
According to a Freedom of Information request, foreign lorry drivers have failed to pay nearly £1million in toll charges after using the Dartford Crossing in 2018.
Around 154,502 foreign-registered trucks did not pay the £6 charge last year – this represents an outstanding balance of £927,012 as a result.
The figures have left some local councillors and users of the crossing very angry, with one driver joking that all he needs to do is get a car with a foreign numberplate and then he won’t need to pay.
One councillor described it as ridiculous and said that a new system should be introduced as soon as possible.
Around 130,000 motorists use the crossing every day and a new ‘free flow’ system was introduced back in November 2014. Instead of having to pay at a toll booth, it was changed to an automatic number plate recognition system which enables users to pay in advance or by midnight the next day.
One local from South East London, who uses the crossing every day to get to work, said it was a ‘disgrace’ that so many foreign drivers were getting away without paying, whilst motorists over here are chased for payment and fined if they fail to pay.
According to Highways England bosses, 80% of foreign truck drivers paid the charge in comparison to 95% of lorry drivers based in the UK.
Foreign non-payers are chased up by Highways England via a European debt collection agency, with the fine for non-paying a hefty £70.
Between 2014 and 2017, around 1.2million foreign drivers failed to pay the charge for using the Dartford Crossing – this includes truck drivers who have to pay £6 and regular motorists who must pay £2.50.
It’s been estimated that these failed charges could be in the region of over £4million for the three year period.
“Dart Charge is helping reduce delays at the Dartford Crossing despite an extra four million journeys being made there every year,” said a spokesman for Highways England, who added: “At around 95 per cent, compliance with Dart Charge still compares well with any other similar scheme worldwide. We follow up non-payment appropriately and fairly, using all legal means, at home and abroad.”
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