Letter to the editor: Although all drivers using the Dartford Crossing are probably wishing their problems will disappear when free flow is eventually up and running, I doubt there are many that believe they will.

The crossing will continue to remain as a convenient cash-cow for the government and cause ongoing chaos and congestion on the approaches from Kent and Essex and in Dartford and the surrounding areas.

The only change will be that collecting the tolls will become automated and repayment of the construction costs will be spread over a long period of time.

Let us face it, the introduction of the system is not for the benefit of the users of the crossing.

There might be some improvement in traffic flow rates through the tolls, but the main problem is the lack of capacity of the crossing.

From the Swanley Interchange to the tunnel there are no less than five entry points on to the approaches and the motorway narrows from four lanes to three close to the A2 intersection From the north, there are two entry points within a mile or so of the bridge and a narrowing to three lanes on the approach.

Heading north, the section of road to the A13 exit is one of the most dangerous sections to drive.

The close proximity of the two exits, the need to ensure correct lane positioning and the merging of the approaches to the A13 roundabout present constant hazards to drivers.

At the moment drivers wishing to cross the Thames immediately turn to the sat-nav for other approach options when problems arise. The inevitable result is that all approaches to the crossing, even those totally unsuitable for carrying heavy traffic, quickly become gridlocked by drivers attempting to get ahead of the queue. It is a scenario for traffic congestion that is played out daily across the country wherever motorway junction access and exits points are closely grouped together and the local infrastructure is unable to cope with it.

If the tolls are to remain, the money spent on the free flow system might have been better used trying to find solutions to improve traffic management problems that are caused by the limitations of the existing local infrastructure that was never designed for anything other than local traffic.

I doubt any suggestions for limiting the adverse impact of the crossing are likely to be greeted with any real enthusiasm by those in power and perhaps some are simply not practical.

But the real issue is that none are more important than the Government making as much money out of the motorist as possible and to hell with the impact on Dartford residents and businesses, wasted fuel, lost production, delayed deliveries and grumpy drivers, not to mention the pollution and damage to the environment.

PHIL CRANE, Dartford