Your article about a reader getting caught out for not paying a bridge toll in America (Kentish Gazette, December 4) and which he likened to the new charging system at the Dartford Crossing is absolutely right. The crossing is used by tens of thousands of foreign vehicles and, while some of the regular users may have knowledge, the occasional users like tourists will not.
While they can drive up the M2 and cross the M2/Medway bridge without payment, how are they to know that a few miles further on they have to pay for about one mile of the M25 and can then continue on their journey and use the whole of the motorway system without further payment? Even if they realised they had to pay, would they know how, especially when you only have one day’s grace! It is the fines for non-payment that will generate a huge revenue stream for the Highways Agency and its contractors. Drive through a toll booth and you expect to pay-this is more akin to legalised theft for ‘foreigners’, but I suppose they have no voting power in Britain!
In 2013 the tolls were supposed to have stopped, but the crossing was placed under the road user charging scheme and once the technology had caught up (as now) it would eventually be integrated into the EU European Electronic Tolling Service in which all roads will be tolled, even if we and our forefathers have paid for them many times over!
For those wishing to take their heads out of the sand, they can start by looking up Directive 2004/52EC.
Russell Drive, Swalecliffe
Herne Bay Gazette, December 11th 2014