|Queen Elizabeth II Bridge|
|Carries||4 lanes of roadway|
|Longest span||450 metres (1,476 ft)|
|Opening date||30 October 1991|
The Dartford Crossing joins Dartford and Thurrock across the River Thames, to the east of London. Government Since 1997 Dartford's MP is Howard Stoate (Labour The Mayor for the year May 2008 to May 2009 is Councillor Ian Armitt The borough It lies on the River Thames just to the east of London. The Thames ( is a major River flowing through southern England. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. It consists of two tunnels under the river, normally used for northbound traffic, and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, used for southbound traffic. For the ship see RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Context States headed by Elizabeth II It is the furthest-downstream road crossing of the Thames, and effectively forms part of London's orbital M25 motorway. To see information about the M25 motorway under construction in Ireland, see N25 road. However the M25 is not a complete loop: it ends shortly before the crossing on each side of the river, and the crossing and its approach roads form the A282 instead. The A282 is a Road (also known as the Canterbury Way) that crosses the River Thames between Essex and Kent in England This is so that traffic prohibited from motorways can use the crossing rather than diverting to the nearest alternative, the A406/A205.
Dartford in Kent is the town nearest the crossing on the south bank of the river. The area around the north bank of the crossing is called West Thurrock Essex, which is home to Lakeside Shopping Centre. West Thurrock is an area of Thurrock, Essex, England, located 17 The Lakeside Shopping Centre is a large out-of-town shopping centre located in West Thurrock, in the borough of Thurrock, Essex just beyond the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent is 4km, and Ebbsfleet International railway station is 8km from the crossing. Bluewater is a super-regional shopping centre, opened on 16 March 1999. Ebbsfleet International railway station is a railway station in Ebbsfleet Valley, in the borough of Dartford, Kent, just outside the eastern boundary
Since its opening in 1963, the crossing has been expanded several times to cope with increased traffic demands:
Prior to the opening of the bridge in 1991, the crossing was usually referred to as the "Dartford Tunnel", each of the two tunnels carrying traffic in opposite directions (and they still do if the bridge has to be closed for any reason). Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including To see information about the M25 motorway under construction in Ireland, see N25 road.
Before the opening of the bridge the crossing featured heavily in TV and radio traffic broadcasts for major congestion.
Low power transmitters for some radio stations and transceivers for some mobile 'phone operators are located inside the tunnels.
The bridge, which was completed on 7 June 1991 and opened on 30 October 1991,  is a four-lane cable-stayed bridge, designed by Dr. Events 1099 - The First Crusade: The Siege of Jerusalem begins Year 1991 ( MCMXCI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar. Events 637 - Antioch surrenders to the Muslim forces under Rashidun Caliphate after the Battle of Iron bridge. Year 1991 ( MCMXCI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar. A Ing Hellmut Homberg and Partner and Kvaerner Technology Limited. . It was built by a joint venture between Kvaerner Construction Limited and Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company. Trafalgar House was a United Kingdom conglomerate with interests in Property, property development, Construction, passenger Shipping The Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company is a renowned Bridge building and Structural engineering company based in Darlington, England  When it was opened, the bridge was Europe's largest cable-supported bridge. The central span is 450 m (1,476 ft) long and is suspended 65 m (213 ft) above the Thames (to accommodate ocean-going cruise liners). The approach viaducts on the Essex side measure 1,052 m (3,451 ft) and 1,008 m (3,307 ft) on the Kent side, giving a total length of 2,872 m (9,423 ft). Essex is a county in the East of England. The County town is Chelmsford, and the highest point of the county is Chrishall Common KENT (1400 AM) is a Radio station broadcasting a Adult Standards/MOR format It has an expected life span of 120 years.
It is a toll bridge and accommodates four lanes of southbound traffic from the M25. When closed, owing to high winds for example, one of the two adjacent tunnels is used instead.
When built, the Queen Elizabeth II bridge was only the second bridge on the River Thames east (downstream) of London Bridge constructed in over a thousand years, and it is currently the only bridge east of Tower Bridge (the Thames Gateway Bridge will be the second, when completed). London Bridge is a Bridge between the City of London and Southwark in London, England, over the River Thames. Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and Suspension bridge in London, England over the River Thames. The Thames Gateway Bridge is a proposed new crossing of the River Thames in East London. The historic reason for this is that bridges prohibited tall ships and other large ships from reaching the Pool of London, which has led to the building of numerous tunnels instead. A tall ship is a large traditionally rigged sailing vessel Popular modern tall ship rigs include topsail Schooners Brigantines Brigs and Originally the Pool of London was the stretch of the River Thames forming the south side of the City of London.
High Speed 1 passes under the bridge (between the bridge supports) on the north (Essex) side and tunnels under the river just east of the bridge. The rail line passes over the exit ramps of both of the road tunnels. The trains are obscured from view by screen fencing. From the bridge, the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link is visible below. Also in view is Canary Wharf, to the west.
Tolls for both directions of travel are collected at toll gates on the south side of the crossing. A toll road, (also known as a tollway, turnpike, pike, or toll highway, especially if it is constructed to Freeway standards
Tolls vary depending on the vehicle and time of day a crossing is made. Abnormal Loads and large vehicles have different charges, depending on size and weight. It is cheaper to use the crossing between 22:00 - 06:00 hours for certain types of vehicles. Each toll booth has a digital time display to show the exact time a payment at the toll booth is made, thus the time of the crossing. Some of the toll gates accept coins thrown into a hopper (no receipt is issued). This speeds up flow through the gates for those that have the necessary coins available. 1p and 2p coins are not accepted; only 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, and £1 coins can be used in the hoppers.
The toll for a motor car is £1. 00 per single journey. There is no toll charge for motorcycles. As there are no footpaths or cycle paths, cyclists and pedestrians have a free shuttle service operated by the crossing's staff.
Tolls charges are based on a three tier pricing system:
|Toll Category Description||0600 - 2200 Charge||2200 - 0600 Charge|
|Motor Cycle (with or without sidecar) or mechanically powered bicycle||FREE||FREE|
|Motor Car: including Motor Car with three wheels or Taxi||£1. 00||£1. 00|
|Light or Medium Goods Vehicle: Motor Coach, Omnibus or Tractor: having no more than two axles||£1. 80||£1. 00|
|Heavy Goods Vehicle, Motor Coach or Omnibus or Tractor having more than two axles||£2. 90||£1. 00|
|Special Type Vehicles||£2. 90||£1. 00|
|Trailer||the same as for the vehicle towing it|
|Motor Cars for Disabled Persons||no charge if exempt from payment of Road Fund Tax|
The DART-Tag is a device that enables drivers to pass through the tolls without stopping. The tag is fixed to the inner side of the windscreen and is linked to a sensor at the toll booths. The driver has an account with the DART-Tag that is credited with money. Each trip through the toll deducts the toll charge from their account. This saves the driver looking for coins when using the toll. A discount of 7. 5% is gained by using the tag on each journey. Each toll booth works with the DART-Tag. DART-Tag is not currently compatible with other tags in the UK or mainland Europe but the forthcoming Interoperability Directive means that in future drivers should be able to use the tag at other crossings.
The toll payable for using the bridge was supposed to end once the bridge had been paid for - which happened in 2003 - but the UK Government has chosen to continue the toll nonetheless - to reduce the growth of congestion at the crossing. 
With daily traffic flows of 150,000 vehicles the crossing suffers regular traffic congestion especially during peak periods. The traffic problems are exacerbated further when the bridge closes due to high winds or when an accident closes one of the northbound tunnels. The UK government is hoping to alleviate the traffic problems by increasing the car tolls from £1 to £1. 50 and offering free crossings from 10pm to 6am. The discount for Dart-Tag will increase - effectively pegging the toll back at £1 for cars to encourage take up of the device. There will also be a local area set up in which the people in Dartford area and Thurrock area will be able to pay £10 for a Dart-tag and will be eligible for 50 free crossings and after that just 20p per crossing. The effects of these proposals are questionable given the limited alternatives to cross the Thames for the wider London-Kent-Essex region.
In the longer term the government is proposing to add extra capacity over the Thames. The Thames Gateway Bridge is a current scheme to add a bridge upstream, with the Lower Thames Crossing a possible scheme downstream. The Thames Gateway Bridge is a proposed new crossing of the River Thames in East London. Lower Thames Crossing is a major transport infrastructure project proposed for the southeast of England in the United Kingdom.
The bridge has been featured briefly in the British films Four Weddings and a Funeral and also in Essex Boys. Four Weddings and a Funeral is a 1994 British Romantic comedy film directed by Mike Newell. Essex Boys is a 2000 British Crime film. It was directed by Terry Winsor, and stars Sean Bean, Alex Kingston, and It also appears in the opening credits of the police drama Thief Takers. Thief Takers was a drama series made by Central Independent Television for the ITV network