Councillors are urging the Government to allow Dartford Council the power to penalise drivers who block traffic by stopping in yellow box junctions.

Borough and county councillors have teamed up with Dartford MP Gareth Johnson to lobby the minister of transport to allow the town to become a “special case”.

If successful, this would mean the local authority could fine drivers for blocking the box junctions on Blue Star roundabout, above the A282.

This is due to a constant build-up of traffic on the Princess Road Interchange when motorists use the slip roads to avoid the Dartford Crossing.

Cllr Andy Lloyd (Con) said: “I don’t need to tell anyone what a mess it is in Dartford when the crossing has got a problem, we all know it.

“One of the reasons we have been told is the un-enforceable box junction at the Blue Star roundabout.

“The main issue is sat navs send cars and lorry drivers to that part of the A2 when there is a problem on the tunnel approach road, which blocks the junctions for local traffic.”

The vice-chairman of the joint transportation board, Cllr Keith Kelly (Con) said: “The leader of the council and the MP have been lobbying the Government, making a special case for Dartford because there aren’t too many towns in the country that have a significant piece of national infrastructure running through the middle of the town.

“We have been lobbying for quite some time, making the case for having enforcement for the yellow box junction and we have had meetings with Kent Police.

“On the rare occasions that they have put a police officer at the roundabout, it has significantly increased the traffic flow so we do know that enforcement does work.

“However at the moment it does need a police officer to stand there and they don’t have the resources.”

The Dartford district manager for Kent County Council, Denise Sutton told the transportation board that Highways England were looking into “all the options”.

She said: “This is a key issue for Dartford, this is one of the issues that creates the tailbacks and the whole thing about rat-running.

“Highways England has been looking at signals at the box junction but KCC has suggested more draconian methods in terms of shutting the slip road during these incidents.”

Dartford MP Mr Johnson said: “I have been making the case to Highways England, KCC, Kent Police and ministers that enforcement of the yellow box junctions at junction 1a and 1b would have a significant impact on local traffic being able to move east/west when the approach to the crossing is congested.

“I met with Highways England again this week to be updated on the issue and whilst there remain some legal issues to overcome, I am optimistic that progress is being made on this issue.”