The money raised by fines for motorists caught out by the Dartford Crossing went up by more than 50 per cent in one year.

Accounts published today reveal income generated from “enforcement” (i.e. drivers being issued with a penalty charge notice after failing to pay) went up to £92,341 in 2016/17 from £60,038 the previous year.

The Department for Transport has put the increase down to more drivers using the crossing, as well as the increased use of enforcement measures.

The latest accounts are from just the second full financial year since the Dart Charge scheme began on November 30, 2014, with the aim of reducing the traffic disruption to the 50 million crossings every year.

Income from drivers using the road without being fined stayed similar – with a small increase in money raised from people with Dart Charge accounts (£83,671 from £76,665), and a small decrease in money from non-account holders (£28,120 from £31,318).