Thousands of people have now backed a petition to stop oversized and hazardous lorries from using the Dartford Crossing.

The petition, launched by logistics operator Europa Worldwide, has been backed by over 2,000 people in the first month.

Managing director Andrew Baxter has spearheaded the campaign that would have oversized and hazardous vehicles to be sent the other way around the M25.

The crossing routinely operates over capacity, and when a hazardous goods vehicle needs to journey through the crossing must close so it can be conveyed through.

Mr Baxter believes sending these vehicles the other way could potentially remove up to two and a half hours of traffic jams at the Dartford Tunnel each day.

He said: “If nothing else this week we set out to spark a debate about this and raise awareness of the issue – which we’ve achieved – and we’ve seen that the congestion at the tunnel is a hot topic for many people.

“We’re a transport company and we do operate hazardous goods vehicles ourselves – we have no interest in harming our industry.

“Ultimately though it boils down to what is better for the 99 per cent of motorists using the tunnel and the huge inconvenience they suffer because of the other one per cent.”

According to Highways England, 55 million journeys are made each year at the Dartford Crossing, a road designed for 49 million.

The crossing is closed for half an hour or more 300 times a year, with the closest alternative tunnel 27 miles away.

Mr Baxter’s campaign Stop The Convoys has been met with mixed responses, with some transport businesses saying the idea would have frustrating financial implications of time and fuel.

Mr Baxter said: “I want to make it clear - we are not hell-bent on our idea – we are just happy to have started the discussion and are completely open to other constructive suggestions about how the convoy process can be managed more efficiently.

“In fact, we’ve had some really interesting suggestions in the first week - limiting the convoys to crossing at night, for example.”

Campaigners have also posed the idea of a tram system linking Essex and Kent to relieve pressure at the crossing.

You can see the petition here.