Appeals Process and Further Information

Overview

All of our customers have the ability to appeal if they receive an Unpaid Toll Charge Notice (UTCN) and feel that this has been incorrectly issued. You can appeal on our website or via post. Each case will be managed on an individual basis to identify customer circumstance, vulnerability issues and any other factors which may have impacted the situation.

What Happens When You Complete an Appeal?

  1. Your charge will be frozen until your case has been reviewed by a member of staff (for first appeal only).
  2. All correspondence will be frozen until your appeal is reviewed.
  3. A dedicated member of staff will assess your case individually based on set guidelines. This maintains consistency so all customers appeals are processed equally.
  4. We aim to respond to all cases within 10 business days. Some complex cases can take a little longer however.
  5. You will receive a response via email or via post depending on how you originally sent your appeal.

Further Considerations

  1. You have the right to appeal each case three times. For each occurrence you would need to provide extra information if the original appeal was rejected.
  2. If your appeal is not upheld, the time to pay the charge is reset to 14 days from the date of rejection (for first appeal only).
  3. If your charge has been referred to our 3rd party collection company you must appeal via that company.

Please note we do not accept appeals via email or social media.

The Role of the North East Combined Authority and Transport North East with Regard to Appeals at the Tyne Tunnel

The North East Combined Authority (NECA) and Transport North East have a set of business rules with TT2 which are then used by TT2, the operators of the Tyne Tunnel, to assess appeals, subject to any additional discretion which is applied.

Appeals are considered against these rules by TT2, not NECA or Transport North East, and so should not be submitted directly to either NECA or Transport North East as they will simply refer the person or organisation making the appeal back to TT2 – see Pay or Appeal an Unpaid Toll Charge Notice (UTCN) – Tyne Tunnel 2 (tt2.co.uk).

The Role of the Independent Auditor at the Tyne Tunnel

Transport North East uses the services of an independent auditor to review a representative sample of appeals. The purpose of this protocol is to provide reassurance to NECA that appeals are being determined in line with the agreed rules.

The independent auditor assesses a sample of appeals randomly selected by them on a regular, scheduled basis. The auditor reviews whether each appeal in the sample taken is determined in line with the business rules that exist at the time of the appeal and whether individual circumstances have been appropriately considered in each case.

Feedback is also given to TT2 Ltd by the Independent Auditor to support their continuous improvement strategy.

The Role of Transport Focus at the Tyne Tunnel

Transport Focus – see Home – Transport Focus is an independent watchdog that has statutory oversight of many road and rail operations in the UK, including the Dartford Crossing. The arrangement with TT2 sits outside the statutory framework but it was agreed by Transport North East and TT2 that involvement from Transport Focus would benefit both the systems and the customers.

Transport Focus conducts periodic reviews of TT2’s complaints handling, making recommendations to improve processes. TT2 provides them with a range of customer feedback data to support their contribution, but Transport Focus will also run periodic independent surveys of customers to help pinpoint any further areas for improvement.

Transport Focus meet with TT2 on a regular basis to advise on best practice and act as an independent body that acts on customer concerns, ensuring the voice of the road user is heard.

Why the Traffic Penalty Tribunal does not oversee the Tyne Tunnels

The legislative basis for every tolled crossing in the United Kingdom is unique, so the exact requirements vary per location. This is why, for example, different classifications of vehicles exist between different crossings. The Tyne Tunnels are a tolled crossing and a “Toll” is required to be paid to use the Tyne Tunnels, not a “Charge”.

“Charges” are legally fundamentally quite different. They are associated with the road charging regime legislated by the Transport Act (2000) i.e. where a Road User Charging Scheme is in place. That act provides for a third-party tribunal known as the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) which has authority to hear appeals against Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). The TPT is a quasi-legal process where legally-qualified Adjudicators, appointed by the Lord Chancellor, hear appeals against Charges.

TT2 does not issue PCNs which are only related to Road User Charging Schemes. The TPT has no jurisdiction over any “tolled” crossings and no tolled crossing uses TPT.

There is no equivalent “toll” oversight authority. At the Tyne Tunnels, the same as at other “toll” roads/crossings, TT2 operates an internal appeals process, but with external moderation and oversight as set out above.

The final recourse for customers who believe they have been wrongly charged and have exhausted their appeal options is to seek redress via the court system such as by making a Court Claim. This wholly independent body will consider the legality of the charges levied by TT2 in the claimant’s specific circumstances and will make a decision which is binding upon TT2 (unless further appealed).

Contact

If you would like to understand this process in any further detail, please call our contact centre on 0191 574 0031 and an agent can discuss this with you.

Please follow this link to appeal.