§ Mr. Proctor
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out in the Official Report the number of convoys escorted through the Dartford tunnel on average per week; for how long the tunnel is closed on average to facilitate their passage; what is the impact on M25 traffic flows as a result; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Chalker
The Dartford tunnel is the responsibility of the Dartford Tunnel Joint Committee. I understand however that in two surveys carried out last year there were about 700 escorted journeys per working week in each direction. Entry to the southbound tunnel is closed by signals for about 40 seconds while a convoy gets underway. There is hardly any delay for northbound traffic. These escorted convoys marginally reduce the capacity in the tunnel and slightly delay traffic on the A282 approach roads but the effects do not extend as far as the M25.