Review finds Tyne Tunnel user complaints ‘disproportionate’ as TT2 ‘serving customers well’

Transport North East deemed that there had been a “disproportionate” focus on Unpaid Toll Charge Notices

A report into the workings of the Tyne Tunnel has labelled complaints from thousands of drivers as "disproportionate".

Many Tunnel users have shared their fury over the past 10 months after the road moved to a cashless operating system with frustration over clarity and rogue fines.

Drivers who do not pay by midnight the day after their journey face a £60 penalty - reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days or raised to £100 if not paid within 28 days.

However, a number of drivers had been erroneously fined by Tyne Tunnel operators TT2 - stories emerged of drivers who had never even used the tunnel once being sent fines.

The report says the Tyne Tunnel is performing well

Nonetheless, a review conducted by Transport North East (TNE) has deemed that complaints from users are "disproportionate" to the success of the Tunnel.

TNE manage TT2's contract on behalf of the North East Joint Transport Committee and their report is separate from one being conducted by watchdog Transport Focus, which is due later this month.

The report finds that 3.55% of drivers received fines in July, compared to more than 5% at the end of 2021. Although that still amounts to more than 56,000 fines a month as record numbers of vehicles were recorded.

The number of cases where automatic number plate recognition cameras misread licence plates also dropped from 400 per month when the system went cashless to 120.

The report stated: "The dissatisfaction of some users is recognised and it is disappointing that any customer has had a negative experience in the early months of the Tyne Pass scheme.

"TT2 acknowledges that some systems and processes in the first months of the new system were not as effective as they could be and these areas have benefitted from improved processes.

“TNE has taken action with TT2 to address the issues raised and make improvements in all areas to respond to feedback. TNE is conscious that as the scheme has matured almost all of the negative feedback is around enforcement which has resulted in a disproportionate focus on Unpaid Toll Charge Notices when in fact the scheme has achieved its aims for the region and is serving customers well.”