By then, Essex and Kent County Councils had managed to successfully lobby the Ministry of Transport to establish a toll for using the crossing - this has remained in place ever since, although today it's referred to as a charge rather than a toll.
The second tunnel was announced in 1970, but construction wasn't completed until 1980, after funding from the EEC guaranteed its completion.
These start to appear well before the previous junctions, and if you're in a lane approaching the crossing with a large 'C' painted in the road, then that means you're in a charge area.
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One benefit of the Dart Charge is that you can pay for crossings in advance, as any crossing payments you make are valid for up to 12 months if they remain unused.
So for example, if you are planning a round trip that will use the Dartford Crossing twice, then you can pay for two crossings for your vehicle.
The effectiveness of this change is open to question, especially as soon after the toll booths were removed, work started on improving Junction 30/31 of the M25, resulting in queues back through the Dartford Tunnel, and cancelling out the effect of removing the booths.• How to value your car While the Dartford Crossing has been amalgamated into the M25, it's actually classified as the A282, which means traffic that isn't permitted on motorways is allowed to use it.
Either way it's a major route for traffic heading from the UK to Europe via the Channel Tunnel and the busy ports of Dover and Felixstowe, and the average number of vehicles using it each day is 130,000, more than double the number of 1980.
The Dart Charge website is the simplest way to pay.
Enter the registration of your vehicle online, then you are given the option to pay for the number of crossings you have done.If you've used the Dartford Crossing, then you have until 12midnight of the following day to pay the crossing charge.Motorists have three ways to pay for using the tunnel or bridge: online, over the phone or at a shop with a Payzone terminal.When it was opened, the combined capacity of both tunnels was 65,000 vehicles per day.The M25 was linked to the Dartford Crossing in Essex in 1982, with the Kent side joined up four years later, by which time 79,000 vehicles per day were using the two tunnels.It took less time for the Queen Elizabeth II bridge to be constructed. The bridge was built by a private consortium, and at one time the tolls from the crossing were supposed to be in place until the construction of the bridge had been paid for.