Conduent Transportation has secured a contract from Highways England to implement and manage an automated free-flow charging solution.

The solution will be installed at the River Thames’ Dartford-Thurrock Crossing.

The contract is valued at around £128m ($178m) over ten and a half years.

The Dartford-Thurrock Crossing includes two tunnels and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. It is thought to be one of the busiest road routes in Britain, being used by nearly 165,000 vehicles a day.

Under the contract, Conduent will provide advanced roadside equipment and the latest generation of license plate recognition technology as well as improved customer self-service capabilities.

The equipment will be deployed over a period of 18 months.

Conduent Transport Solutions group president Mark Brewer said: “This award demonstrates our commitment to our global strategy for growth while continuing to provide effective, end-to-end solutions for our clients.

“Building on our strong UK and European presence and capabilities, we are dedicated to delivering a successful programme for Highways England and its customers.”

Highways England Commercial and Procurement executive director Malcolm Dare said: “We are delighted to announce the award of this contract for the second generation of free-flow charging at Dartford Crossing.

“The removal of the payment booths and introduction of free-flow charging at Dartford in 2014 not only helped to reduce congestion for the growing number of people using the crossing, but it also provided much more flexibility for people to pay.”

Highways England has also chosen toll-based mobility solutions provider emovis to manage UK enforcement services at the Dartford Crossing.

emovis will issue penalty charge notices (PCN) as well as handling PCN payment handling and representation handling.

It will also provide a call centre and back-office support teams.

emovis CEO Christian Barrientos said: “The awarding of this contract to emovis reflects the government’s confidence in our expert ability to develop robust solutions designed with the end user in mind.

“We are pleased to have been selected to keep managing the scheme for Dartford Crossing, a vital component for the success of every free-flow charging operation.”