North Tyneside Tories call for a ‘more ethical’ Tyne Tunnel pricing scheme to help ‘working class’ users

The crossing switched to a cashless ‘free-flow’ model last November, meaning drivers can no longer pay at traditional tunnel tolls with cash or credit card – and must instead use a prepaid account or pay online. after.

The change came into effect in a bid to cut journey times and reduce pollution, but sparked a major backlash from users complaining that it was littered with errors that caused people to been wrongfully slapped with heavy fines and prosecuted by bailiffs.

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Traffic at the southern entrance to the Tyne Tunnel.

The petition, started by Gary Spedding, calls for an “ethical system”.

Labor MP for South Shields Emma Lewell-Buck is among those supporting the campaigners and has raised the issue in Parliament.

Now the conservative North Tyneside Council group has put forward a motion calling for reform of the system.

The teams remove the barriers.

If the motion passes, the authority will call on tunnel operator TT2 Limited to cancel all outstanding toll charges issued in the last six months before January 1, 2022.

The operator would also be asked to increase the “pay later” period from 48 hours to five working days.

TT2 would also be asked to “engage in a concerted publicity campaign to ensure that people are fully aware of the current operation of the Tyne Tunnel and to encourage frequent travelers to sign up for a prepaid account”.

The Tories also want North Tyneside Council to tell tunnel bosses to scrap the current system of penalties and replace it with a ‘more ethical structure’.

The Tories say those who miss their payment deadline should receive an initial fine of no more than £20, which should be reduced to £5.00 if paid within 14 days of the date the fine was been generated.

The motion read: “These amounts are more ethical and affordable for the average Tyne Tunnel user – many of whom come from working-class backgrounds or may suffer hardship due to the current economic climate.

“If paying a fine, the original ‘toll rate’ should be deducted from the fine paid so that people are not charged extra. If a person does not pay the original £20 fine within 28 days this should not exceed £40 and only after a period of 42 days should this be passed on to a debt collection agency where an “additional administrative charge” of no more than An additional £25 should be added.

Finally, the motion asks TT2 to review its appeals process and “produce clear and publicly available guidance on TT2 Limited’s policies regarding tunnel travel, toll prices and penalty procedures. that each individual case is carefully and sensitively considered.”

North Tyneside councilors will vote on the motion at a meeting of North Tyneside Council on Thursday.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has approached TT2 for comment.

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