The Tyne Tunnel booths are causing havoc (Image: Shutterstock)
The Tyne Tunnel has announced that old toll booths causing traffic chaos will not be removed until Spring.
In a Tweet the tunnel acknowledged that the toll booth structure was a contributing cause to the traffic back-ups that have been seen ever since the route went cashless earlier this month.
A Tweet read: "We are beginning to demolish the toll booth structure in the coming weeks making the road wider so there will be less cars slowing down.
"Because of the free-flowing traffic we cannot have another lane open, however we expect to see improvements in queues as we progress."
The company added that the booths would be "completely gone" by Spring.
The Tyne Tunnel went cashless on Monday, November 8 and there have been teething problems ever since.
Now users must pay to use the tunnel in advance, or by midnight the day after completing their journey.
Newcastle World can report that, despite traffic tailbacks and driver confusion, 34.5% of Geordies continue to support the system change.
On the first days after the change, traffic was backed up and some users were charged twice.
17 days on since the system was introduced and issues are still persisting with long queues and motorists confused.
Newcastle World polled its followers on Thursday, with 44.8% of respondents saying the new system is worse than the old cash payment one.
20.1% of respondents said the new system was as effective as the old one and 35.1% argued it was better.
One Twitter user said: "Negative takes much longer to get through on a morning even pre-7am and 5 pm is ridiculously slow and backed up for miles.
"Need to open up some extra lanes asap. It’s got that bad I’ve started to cycle again even though the lifts are still shite and the new lifts still ain’t on!!"
Another wrote: "Hating the new payment method for the Tyne Tunnel, easy as pie to pay £1.90 on your way through each way, now you have to do it online before midnight next day, if you forget it’s £100 fine. Smashing eh."
Other drivers told Newcastle World of problems paying when using company cars.
One said: "I can see the advantages IF it works but we (my company) had a few instances of the system not registering that the vehicles had an account and so getting large fines.
"The worst of which was for a car we have on long term hire so the hire company got the letter and then threats!"
Another reported: "I drive a company vehicle through daily and I have no access to the account, on the old system I could see the balance as I went through the barrier and on the odd occasion had to pay myself if there was no money on the account, now I have no idea and the company could be receiving fines daily, who then has to pay those fines?
"Do I as the driver or the company who failed to top up the account?
"Why change something that works well in its current format? The queues are getting bigger by the day."
When the new system was first introduced, Newcastle World readers were asked what they thought the motivation behind the change was.
52.2% of users believed the change was made in order to increase revenue through fines, with 50% believing it would increase efficiency and 26.1% believing the environment was at the heart of the decision.