[Newspaper Column] Dartford

Each week the Romford Recorder has the Steve Allen column. And now you can find it in the Ilford Recorder too. If you're around East London and West Essex you can buy the newspaper every Thursday/Friday, or follow @mrstevenallen to see the columns on Twitter. You can also read the archive of past ones, which can be found here.

You can click the image to zoom in on the paper, or read the column below.

Recent news may have included the best idea I have ever heard.

I don’t mean the plan to build a 4-metre high wall in Calais, which the UK has to pay for. I’ve heard we’ll raise the money by selling 5-metre long ladders to people near the boarder.

I am referring to Stephen Metcalfe MP’s suggestion that people who are delayed at the Dartford Crossing shouldn't have to pay the toll.

I’ve always hated that feeling of being delayed and paying for the privilege. It’s like tipping a middle-lane hogger or stuffing a twenty into the back pocket of one of those people who get to the top of an escalator and just stand there. If I wanted to waste hours of my life and pay for it I’d go to see a Kevin Costner film.

Mr Metcalfe said that still being charged to use the bridge after it’s held you up adds insult to injury. Knowing that we are still being charged to use a bridge we have more than paid for adds a flick on the forehead as well.

With flight delays and train delays it is relatively easy to workout who was affected but I don’t know how it would work on the motorway. The average speed cameras there workout how long it takes you to cover the distance on the approach but if someone took an hour break in the Thurrock services they shouldn’t get the crossing for free. Although, they might need the £2.50 to help repay the mortgage they would have take out to buy a coffee.

I think it would be easier to use the average speed cameras and work out which drivers haven’t been held up by the Dartford Crossing. And then send a bill to both of them.



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