Recently Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham was contacted by Highways England to confirm that improvements between M25 junction 30 and the A13 are now open to traffic. An extra lane has been added on the A13 between the A126 and junction 30, to increase capacity an alleviate congestion.

The good news for drivers is that the extra capacity offered by this scheme is open in time for Christmas, and should help improve shopping trips to major destinations such as Bluewater and Lakeside.

However, for safety and operational reasons, a 900-metre stretch between Dartford Crossing and the Stifford Road overbridge, just north of junction 30, will need to retain a 50mph speed limit. This limit will be restored to 70mph early in the New Year.

There are two reasons for this decision:

Firstly, new technology needs to be installed to improve safety at the junction. However, the National Roads Telecommunications Service found a fault with its network that will not be rectified until early January 2017. The technology for junction 30 will therefore not be operational until mid-January following which we will reinstate the 70mph limit.

Secondly, we provide a free recovery service within the scheme area. This keeps drivers moving and avoids congestion. On average, we have recovered one vehicle per day from roads within the scheme area. Failing to remove these vehicles quickly would result in long and unnecessary queues for drivers. We want to continue to provide this service until the technology is in place to help manage traffic safely. As it is not safe for our recovery teams to work in live traffic at 70mph the 50mph limit will be maintained until mid-January.

Jon Cruddas commented: "This is a much welcomed improvement and will really help alleviate some of the congestion pressure that the road is expected to face during the Christmas period. Highways England have also pointed out that after Christmas, in the New Year drivers will really feel the benefit with much more ease of travel."