New figures reveal that more than two million fines were issued on the Dartford Crossing last year, generating over a third of its nearly £200m income.

Statistics and accounts released by Highways England show that profits on the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing have increased for the fifth year running.

Following the controversial move to make toll charges at the Dartford Crossing permanent, cash receipts for paid crossings generated a total £195.7m last year, up £8.3m from the year before.

The number of crossings made in 2018/19, 57.8 million crossings, was the highest since Dart Charge was introduced in 2014, and the number of penalty charge notices issued in 2018/19 reached 2.4 million.

Despite plans for the tolls to be scrapped, in total £74m worth of penalty charge notices were issued to drivers travelling between Dartford and Thurrock as profits reached a new high of £86.6m.

Highways England say this is in part due to increased traffic volume (£4.1m) and part due to an increase in enforcement income (£3.1m).

The crossing consists of two tunnels and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, the first built in 1963, with tolls set in 1988 by the Government to repay the debt incurred building it.

The Government promised that charges would be scrapped once this was repaid, but the tolls were extended to provide a fund for future maintenance of the crossing.

In 2014 'Dart Charge' was introduced, and drivers are now charged £2 each crossing and if they fail to pay into their Dart Charge account they face a fine.

Despite several online petitions, in 2019 the new transport secretary Grant Shapps decided that the charges should continue to "manage traffic demand."

The Department for Transport says that if the charge ended, there would be an increase in traffic and congestion on the important strategic route which is already at 117% capacity.