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Tyne Tunnels – 2023 in Review: quicker journeys, record levels of users and significant community outreach

Tyne Tunnels – 2023 in Review

This year we have seen quicker journey times, record levels of vehicles travelling through the tunnels and a bumper year of support for our local communities during 2023.

The river crossing was used by over 19 million vehicles over the past year* – compared to just over 17 million the previous year – which is an 11.7% uplift.

New data shows journey times have improved since the switch to open road tolling in 2021, with the average journey time in October 2023 being 35 seconds faster southbound, and 46 seconds faster northbound.

Over the last 12 months, we have contributed various community projects, charities and local groups, including a transport scheme for Tiny Lives which helps families of premature babies get to and from hospital, and a sustainable village and sensory Tyne Tunnel for The Percy Hedley Foundation’s schools. Our investment in community projects amounted to over £110,000 in 2023.

The percentage of people not paying their toll has reduced from 5.39% in the first month of open road tolling to 2.84% in November last year – falling further to 2.20% in November this year.

It has been just over two years since enabling users to drive straight through without stopping – on 8 November 2021 – and the switch has made journeys faster and smoother.

Our on-site operations team now manages to clear a broken-down vehicle in just seven minutes and 15 seconds, on average.

The number of people and businesses pre-paying for their journeys has risen – with almost 83,000 new TT2 Pre-Paid accounts opened in the last year. In November 2023, 82.94% of payments were made via Pre-Paid accounts. This comes following improvements to the user-experience through changes to our website, upgrades to the payment system including introducing Apple and Google Pay, and the launch of the Tyne Tunnels’ customer focus group.

CEO at TT2, Adrian Wallace, said: “We’re really pleased to see that more people than ever are choosing the tunnels to cross the river and that journey times have reduced since we switched to open-road-tolling.

“The Tyne Tunnels were brought to the region to support regional growth by offering a safe, reliable, and efficient, alternative way to cross the Tyne. We help over 62,000 vehicles cross the river every day and we are proud to be supporting greater social mobility and regional success, as well as helping our local communities and the environment through extensive CSR initiatives and funding.”

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