Video reveals how Dartford Tunnel safety system will operate
30/03/2015 Highways Reporters
A video that shows how the new safety system at the Dartford Crossing will work has been released by the Highways Agency.
It shows how the system that is due to be introduced on the northbound carriageway in May will identify and stop oversized vehicles or those carrying dangerous goods from entering the tunnels.
They also provide clear advice to drivers of these vehicles about getting in the correct lane in plenty of time which will help minimise the number of times vehicles need to be stopped and turned around.
The new system is an important part of speeding up journeys at the Crossing now that Dart Charge is in place and drivers no longer need to stop at barriers to pay.
Highways Agency project director Nigel Gray said: “Safety is a top priority for the Highways Agency. The old payment barriers used to provide us with a way to prevent oversized or dangerous goods vehicles from entering the Dartford tunnels, but the introduction of Dart Charge required a new solution. This video shows how the new system will provide the protection needed while keeping disruption to a minimum.”
Since it launched on 30 November last year, Dart Charge has already helped to speed up journeys by removing the need to stop at a barrier to pay the Dartford Crossing charge. But to get the most benefit from the changes, there needs to be a new way of identifying and managing oversized vehicles and dangerous loads before they enter the tunnel – a job until now that was carried out at the payment barriers.
Construction of the new system began in January. Traffic lights, barriers and electronic message signs will be used to safely stop and turn around any vehicle that is not approaching the tunnel in the correct lane, while keeping disruption to other traffic to a minimum.