asked the Secretary of State for Transport what action he is taking to prevent congestion in the future at Dartford tunnel.
I am aware of the vital importance of the Dartford tunnel in relation to the M25 and to the local economies of Kent and Essex. For these reasons, grants of some £21 million have already been made to Kent and Essex county councils for improvements to the approach roads and toll plazas so that toll collection does not lead to queues.For the longer term, we must ensure adequate tunnel capacity. In January this year I commissioned consultants to carry out a study of future traffic projections for the tunnel. Their report was received recently and I accept their conclusions and recommendations. In summary, the tunnel is likely to be at the limit of its capacity by the mid-1990s and an engineering study should be carried out to determine the best method of providing additional crossing capacity at Dartford.After consultation with Kent and Essex county councils, who have joint responsibility for the existing
prices the index of fares in each of the last 10 years for (a) British Rail, (b) municipal operators, (c) passenger transport executives, (d) the National Bus Company (e) the Scottish Bus Group and (f) all bus operators on the same basis as the graphs in the White Paper on buses.
Indices of rail and stage bus fares, in real terms, are given in the following table. Separate figures for NBC and SBG cannot readily be provided for the whole of the period.tunnel, I have decided to commission an enginerring study, to report as soon as practicable. Any commitment to construction of additional crossing capacity will depend on a sound economic case based on sustained future traffic growth.I am placing a copy of the traffic study in the Library.