TT2, which operates the tunnels on behalf of the North East Combined Authority, have launched a public information campaign which details how to use the Tyne Tunnels correctly, and avoid a fine.
This is due to the brand-new payment structure, which has been in place since last November, where cameras automatically register by taking photos of a car registration, and payment needs to be made before midnight the next day. Payments can be made via an app, online, over the phone or at a PayPoint outlet.
Due to the pandemic, this is the first summer that the Tyne Tunnels are being used since the change to open-road-tolling. TT2 launched the campaign to prevent fines and incorrect use due to lack of awareness.
The campaign is called ‘There’s no stopping you this summer’, and will run until September across TV, newspapers, radio, YouTube ads, and other forms of media advertising.
Chief Executive of TT2, Philip Smith, explained: “Over the summer, the profile of our tunnel users changes significantly as commuting decreases over July and August and one-off users, or infrequent users of the crossing, increase.
“We want to ensure that drivers who aren’t used to using the tunnels have a stress-free time by understanding – ahead of their journeys - how to pay their toll, and when to pay it by. We are encouraging people to get a Prepaid account which makes paying as simple as possible, and gives them 10% off their toll.”
Despite drawn out teething issues with compliance and incorrect fines, new data has shown that since the changes, journey times are down; C02 emissions have decreased; and the number of people paying their toll on time is rising.
Since the new open-road-tolling, the tunnels have had more than 11 millions journeys, and within the first month 94.6% of drivers have paid their toll on time. In June, the percentage had risen to 96.52%, showing that the cashless system is suitable for the public.