HISTORY OF THE CROSSING
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The Dartford-Thurrock Crossing opened to traffic as a tunnel in 1963, having first been built on a pilot basis in 1938. It was followed by a second tunnel in 1980 and by the QEII Bridge in 1991, bringing the capacity to four lanes each way.
Construction of each stage was financed by tolls and many expected these to be lifted once the bridge was paid for in 2003. However, by this time the principle of road-user charging had been established under the Transport Act 2000 and charges continued on this basis.
The crossing is managed by a consortium called Connect Plus M25 on behalf of the Highways Agency (HA). According to the HA, 1.3 billion vehicles have used the crossing from its opening in November 1963 to March 2011, with the daily average rising from 12,472 in 1963 to a peak of 149,415 in 2003/2004.
The highest ever daily throughput was 181,990 vehicles on 23 July 2004.