North East UK news Tyne Tunnel toll hike set to hit car and van drivers MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - North East transport chiefs have signed off on plans to increase the price of driving through the tunnel from £1.80 to £1.90 for cars and light vans from April
Breaking News ! Car and van drivers will soon be hit with higher tolls to use the Tyne Tunnel. North East transport chiefs have signed off on plans to increase the price of driving through the tunnel from £1.80 to £1.90 for cars and light vans from April. The 10p increase, described as “necessary to finance the tunnels”, was approved by Tyne and Wear councillors on Thursday afternoon. Passage through the crossing will remain free for motorbikes and set at £3.70 for lorries. It is hoped that 2021 will see dramatic changes at the Tyne Tunnel, with toll booths and barriers completely removed to create “seamless” journeys – with drivers asked to pay either in advance of or after their trip. But the past year has seen traffic levels drop to record lows due to the Covid pandemic, costing tunnel bosses almost £10 million in toll revenue. Gateshead Council transport chief Coun John McElroy told the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub-Committee: “It is a modest increase, but nevertheless in these Covid times it is probably not particularly welcome by the public. Read More Related Articles Revealed: How much Metro ticket fares are set to increase by this year amid Covid cash crisis Read More Related Articles Empty stalls at beloved Grainger Market 'impossible' to fill due to Covid pandemic, council warns “But I think certainly the tunnel has been quite badly affected by lack of income so, unfortunately, I would move the recommendations.
.” Coun Joyce McCarty, Newcastle City Council’s deputy leader, agreed that the rise was “unfortunate” but said it was needed to pay off debts relating to the tunnel. A report to the committee said: “Until mid-March 2020, traffic levels and corresponding tolls income were strong and had seen a marked improvement since the completion of Highways England works at Silverlink.
“From March 2020, however, the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown took effect and traffic levels fell dramatically during March and April 2020 to approximately 17,000 vehicles per day, just 30% of normal levels and the lowest level of traffic seen during the life of the TT2 contract. “From May to August traffic gradually increased, reaching 85% of normal levels by mid-September. This recovery was however impacted by local restrictions from mid-September and the second national lockdown in November, where traffic flows were 23% below target. “Latest forecasts suggest traffic might not return to expected levels for many months to come, given local restrictions and the continued impact of many employees working from home and therefore fewer vehicle journeys taking place around the region.” Plans to remove the toll booths and barriers, known as the Tyne Pass project, are hoped to be completed in late 2021 or early next year. Motorists will have to pay their tolls before midnight on the day after their journey once the new system comes into force – and will be able to do so through a pre-paid account, via a website or app, over the phone, or in-person at certain shops that offer services like Payzone. Anyone who fails to pay by midnight the next day will be contacted by post and would face a fine of up to £100.
Source = MetiNews.Com