More than 200,000 bailiff warrants were issued to motorists who did not pay their Dart Charge last year, Highways England has revealed.

The Dart Charge was introduced in November 2014 in an effort to ease congestion and help traffic at one of the countries busiest roads.

In 2016 alone, there were 99 million chargeable journeys made at the Dartford Crossing - but not all of them paid their way.

Last year was the first year Highways England's contract with debt recovery companies were fully operational - and in that time an astounding 200,609 warrants were issued.

In data obtained through a Freedom of Information request, Highways England said one warrant was issued for each unpaid charge notice - a customer can be given two PCNs, meaning two warrants would have been issued.

These figures could equate to nearly one in every 494 journeys eventually having a warrant executed for payment.

A spokesman for Highways England said the money collected from charging schemes at the Crossing is all spent back on transport.

A Highways England Spokesman said: "Dart Charge has removed a significant source of congestion at the Dartford Crossing, and the vast majority of drivers are paying their Dart Charge on time.

“We have to be clear that people using the Dartford Crossing need to pay their Dart Charge. But we work hard to help people avoid a penalty wherever possible.

"Court-appointed enforcement agents are only ever used as a last resort to chase up non-payment, and only when each case has been authorised by the courts.”

Eight complaints relating to PCNs were referred to an independent complaints commissioner.

The Dartford Crossing routinely operates over capacity, a problem hoped to be address by the arrival of the Lower Thames Crossing - expected in 2027.

In 2016, the Dartford Crossing’s total income was 161.6 million, up over £60 million from the year before.