At TT2 we are working hard to keep traffic moving through the Tyne Tunnels whilst ensuring the health and safety of our staff and customers at this challenging time. We wanted to update you on what we are doing, as well as answer some of your feedback regarding tolls.
We are keeping the Tyne Tunnels open 24/7
Our staff are key workers and are working round the clock to maintain the Tunnels and keep them safe for customers to use.
Every day, people, businesses and public services rely on us keep the tunnels running safely and efficiently. To ensure a 24/7 service we have hired an additional 8 customer service agents who are ready to step up should any of our colleagues need to be absent from work due to Coronavirus.
We are following social distancing guidelines
Following government guidelines, we have closed our offices and staff who can work from home are now doing so. We strive to continue responding to our customers as fast as possible and appreciate your patience at this difficult time.
We have also implemented a number of a number of new procedures internally to avoid close contact between staff and customers. We would be grateful if our customers paid cash or signed up for pre-paid accounts where possible. Our mobile app is available now on iPhone and Android and offers and easy way to manage your account.
Tyne Tunnels Tolls
TT2 collect the Tolls on behalf of NECA, we are always listening to feedback from our customers and have passed it on to the North East Joint Transport Committee, who set the tolls for the Tyne Tunnels, where appropriate.
This is a response on behalf of the North East Joint Transport Committee.
These are unprecedented times and we are extremely grateful to all key workers who are keeping the UK running. The North East Joint Transport Committee supports the emergency services and allows all police vehicles and ambulances to travel toll-free through the Tunnels. This will continue throughout this difficult period and for the foreseeable future.
We have been reviewing whether it could be appropriate during this period to allow toll free passage for key workers. If this were possible it would need to apply to all key workers, not just NHS staff and on a practical level, it would mean that the Tyne Tunnels would need to allow free passage for all vehicles. This is still under consideration, as it would need government backing and there are concerns that evidence from other areas suggests that to allow free travel for everyone could encourage more non-essential journeys by members of the public, which is entirely against government advice.
It should also be noted that the toll income from the journeys passing through the Tunnels at current traffic levels is not being used for profit, this income is public funds. These funds are required to repay borrowing set up by the Combined Authorities specifically for the construction of the new second Tyne Tunnel in 2011. There is no toll income being used as profit which could be released to pay for a free travel scheme.
We would like to reassure you of the following:
- Key workers are currently able to get to and from work more quickly via the Tyne Tunnels. Journey time through the Tyne Tunnels has been reduced and reports show no queueing at either end of the Tunnels;
- Tunnel workers at TT2 limited are themselves key workers and they are working around the clock. They are committed to keeping the Tunnels maintained and safe during this period to ensure that the A19 stays open 24/7 for all vehicles;
- As stated above, all police vehicles, ambulances, fire service, military vehicles, local buses and disabled Blue Badge permit holders can travel toll free through the Tunnels and will continue to do so.
- The Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels remain open for essential journeys with some social distancing restrictions in place. Many key workers are using it to walk or cycle to work each day. This tunnel is free of charge for users.
You should also be aware that the North East Joint Transport Committee has agreed to delay the Tyne Tunnels annual toll increase which was due to be implemented on 12th May 2020. Due to the coronavirus crisis, this toll increase will be delayed for 3 months.
Thank you for your feedback. Please get back in touch if you require further information/assistance.
We are doing everything we can to keep the Tyne Tunnels safe and secure whilst ensuring the health and safety of our staff and customers.
Please continue to follow the latest government advice. Stay home, save lives.