The Escort Patrols were discontinued at midnight on the 31st July 2009, by the Highways Agency decision made on the 2nd July 2009.
The Highways Agency issued their letter of the 9th July 2009 to very few people which appears to give no time for anyone or organisation to object.
The Assisted Dartford River Crossing Escort Patrols, for the QE2 Bridge and the 2 Tunnels were in effect for over 40 years without incident and the Highways Agency (now Highways England) stated No Costs involved as fitted in with staff duties.
There is nothing compatible in the UK to the Dartford River Crossing which is unique and the Highways Agency has written acknowledging problems for Drivers, especially regarding the QEII Bridge.
The original reasons given by the Highways Agency for the cessation of the Escort Patrols have been proved to be a total fabrication and when challenged they gave more reasons which have also proven to be totally unfounded.
The only reason factually for ceasing the Escort Patrols by the Highways Agency, that has any credence, after totally disproving ALL reasons they have given, appears to be the then Labour Government wanted to sell this part of the road network which bought in £70,000,000 a year, (£20 million being spent on maintenance and operating costs and the rest increases government funding for transport) when charges were £1. Charges now £2.50 so profits now believed to be between £125-£150 million pounds a year!
Highways Agency have advised in 2009 No cost or staff saving involved but still ceased service without any written evidence to support their decision, as ALL DOCUMENTATION before 30th June 2009 MISSING and no back-ups!
No notes ever taken at meetings, as advised all meetings were informal! In FACT certain important notes they did make was after the service was ceased on 31st July 2009 and after they gave advice to the Minister in August 2009!
Also no consultations and according to them one person made the decision, was it on his thoughts!
This service was very beneficial to around 20% of drivers who suffer from ‘Fear of Heights, Claustrophobia and Vertigo (Note: Only Vertigo is reportable because severe dizziness which can be part of the condition, it does not mean those suffering cannot drive and DVLA make the decision on a case by case basis).
The Traffic Officers who previously gave the assistance to people at the Dartford Crossing when service in effect had stated, ‘That people who travelled, even to work for many years, suddenly needed assistance for this part of their journey’. They either drove vehicles or escorted them and it has been confirmed that this did not cause any work problems and there were no incidents.
One never knows when it may affect you, whether as a driver or passenger.
Most if not all the Highways Agency comments/statements (their interpretation of facts) from their correspondence and telephone conversations suggest that ALL the information supplied appears is either untrue, misleading or inaccurate to the General Public, Media, Members of Parliament, Minister and Secretaries of the Department of Transport in its presentation.
The Escort Patrols, for this unique part of the National Road Network, at the Dartford River Crossing should be reinstated in 2017, especially as Theresa May, Prime Minister, has stated this year wants to help NHS & people with disabilities/mental health issues.
February 2017 –CAMPAIGN & PETITION intended.
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