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As a leading provider of HGV training in Essex and Kent, we know all too well how easy it is for traffic to be backed up at Dartford tunnel due to oversized vehicles or improper use of lanes. We hope that that all changes now that a new traffic system is in place. HGV drivers should now find it easier to navigate the area without running afoul of restrictions. However, that remains to be seen.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is urging HGV drivers to take their time and get to know the new traffic system. They are also suggesting fleet operators take the steps necessary to make their drivers aware of the changes. The new system, designed to alleviate congestion and prevent accidents, uses technology to identify oversized vehicles, vehicles carrying hazardous materials and drivers using the wrong lanes. The FTA says significant penalties have been put in place to deal with drivers who do not obey the restrictions.

According to the FTA’s Natalie Chapman, her organisation’s biggest concern is that of confusion among drivers who do not know how to decipher the new system. She said it is up to haulage and transport companies to update their drivers on both the system and the regulations that govern it.

Shared Concerns

We share some of the same concerns voiced by the FTA in regards to driver confusion. As training providers, we are all too aware of the fact that increased regulation is continually adding to the mental burden drivers must deal with throughout the UK. Now those who regularly use the Dartford tunnel will have even more to remember and be concerned about.

Over time, drivers who pass through the area frequently will get accustomed to the system, enabling them to navigate it without trouble. The concern is for drivers that do not use the tunnel very often. As with drivers who depend too much on GPS systems, there could be drivers who find themselves violating restrictions at the Dartford Tunnel simply because they do not understand how the system works.

The long and short of it is this: the new system and restrictions are necessary to keep traffic flowing at the tunnel. Moreover, until a positive decision is made regarding a new Lower Thames crossing, congestion at Dartford will continue to be a problem. HGV drivers need to do their best to navigate the area efficiently and according to the restrictions in place.

The HGV Training Centre is a leading provider of HGV training in Essex, Kent, and all over the UK. We operate more than 45 facilities staffed by professional trainers with years of experience. Our goal is to ensure that every driver who passes through our doors is effectively trained and prepared to work as a productive member of the haulage or transport industry. We utilise a fast-paced approach that enables our students to learn the necessary information and retain it properly. We can train you for your career as a professional driver.


  1. Commercial fleet – http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/truck-news/2015/06/15/fta-urges-fleets-to-be-aware-of-new-traffic-system-at-dartford-tunnel-2


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