12 Oct 2009.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

ABD Condemns Plan to Sell Dartford Crossing
The Association of British Drivers has condemned government plans to sell the Dartford Tunnel and Queen Elizabeth II bridge.
Under plans announced today by current British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Dartford Crossing will be sold to help reduce the UK's budget deficit. 1
The Dartford Crossing is part of London's principal orbital road, most of which consists of the M25 motorway, though the crossing itself is a trunk road, the A282.
ABD Spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
“This is appalling news. The bridge and tunnel are a critical part of the UK's national road infrastructure, it is completely unacceptable that they should be sold, possibly to foreign investors. We have no doubt that any sale will result in large increases in tolls as the purchaser tries to recoup their investment.”
ABD Local Co-ordinator for Kent, Terry Hudson added:
“I am appalled by this news. The government is well aware that there is a campaign locally to have tolls on the crossing scrapped completely, this is supported by local councils including Dartford and Gravesham and by local businesses who are already struggling with the tolls in this time of recession.
A recent power cut also proved that removal of the tolls greatly reduces congestion. Only last week Transport Minister Sadiq Khan suggested tolls might be scrapped one way to reduce congestion 2.
Gordon Brown must have been taking tips from John Prescott, for this announcement is a punch in the face for campaigners.”
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:
“This is absurd, the government clearly does not know what it is doing from one week to the next. What are they going to try and sell next — the Isle of Wight? The amount the sale might bring just highlights what a money spinner the Dartford Crossing is for the Government, despite the fact that a promise was made to drop the tolls once the bridge had been paid for, which it clearly has been already. Not only does this Government break its promises to the electorate, it now aims to profit from doing so.”

1. BBC - PM to unveil £16bn sale of assets
2. BBC - One-way Dartford toll considered
Notes for Editors about the ABD