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Chaos At The Dartford Crossing

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DSJ | 18:22 Fri 13th May 2016 | Other Vehicles
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My husband, daughter and l drove from Lincolnshire to Eastbourne earlier this week to attend a funeral. We couldn't believe the absolute chaos on both sides of the Dartford Crossing. Going to Eastbourne, there was complete gridlock for well over an hour. Returning, later in the day, we were gridlocked in heavy traffic for over two hours.

There had been several incidents and accidents, probably due to the torrential rain and fog, in the morning. Returning, we found the M11 closed. A lorry had been on fire earlier and the carriageway damaged. The motorway was closed for resurfacing work to be completed. This may have been the reason for the chaos coming out of the tunnel at the Essex end.

Personally, l feel that the removal of the pay booths has aggravated the situation.

Do commuters have to put up with this traffic chaos on a regular basis or was this a one-off problem on Wednesday, 11th May?

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I live about 3 minutes from the south side of the tunnel and believe me its a regular thing. I cant say it's got worse with the removal of the barriers but it hasn't improved.
Yes, pretty much normal. Dartford is a major 'pinch point' never been anything else.
No not a one-off. I live near M25 junction 3. Wednesday was particularly bad but since the booths went the traffic has been far worse most of the time. It's often backed up to us and even junction 4.
Question Author
How on earth do commuters get to work on time? It must be a nightmare.

We have often used the Dartford Crossing in the past, to get to Kent and to get ferries to the continent, but I have never known chaos like this before.
On a Friday evening, because of the tailbacks from the Dartford Crossing, I've often had to queue at Junction 28 to access the M25 for well over two hours. (That's just to join the queue on the motorway!). Because the roundabout at Jn 28 gets clogged up, even traffic which will be heading away from the Crossing still has to queue for hours to get onto the M25!

The Government and Highways England are fully aware of the need for a new crossing. There has been a massive consultation exercise, ending a couple of months ago. Once everything has been considered, it's hoped that a new road will link the M25 in Essex (between the current Jns 29 and 30) directly to the A2/M2 junction, without the need to use the Queen Elizabeth Bridge:
http://i0.wp.com/www.lower-thames-crossing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/The-route-of-the-proposed-option-1-2.png
Question Author
That is good news. Let's hope the plans are fast tracked and that there are not too many objections.
Normally southbound is much better than before the toll booths were removed, but northbound is just the same as before.

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