Anger over Tyne Tunnel toll rise

Motorists have reacted with anger to news that Tyne Tunnel tolls are set to rise.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 9:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 9:59 am
The Tyne Tunnel
The Tyne Tunnel

A meeting of the North East Combined Authority leadership board today will hear that car drivers will see the amount they have to pay jump by 10p, to £1.70, while the toll for HGVs will rise by 20p, to £3.40.

The level of tolls is set by a formula which relies on the inflation rate, with prices set to rise annually and the cost for HGVs going up by twice that for cars.

The last rise was in January last year for HGVs and 12 months earlier for cars, but with increases limited to whole 10p figures, the inflation rate was so low this January that the planned rise was put back to April.

Drivers voiced their frustration on the Gazette's Facebook page.

Tris Gallagher wrote: "It's a complete rip-off. The money those tunnels generate over a 24 hour period is astronomical, 365 days a year.. Wow!" while Andrew Morris said: "Absolute disgrace, should be trying to bring the toll price down!"

Wendy Shepherd said: "I thought the residents of South Tyneside and North Tyneside already contributed towards the Tyne Tunnel via our council tax. Am I right?....if so, then maybe we should all be given free access through the Tunnel."

Warren Whitehead is planning to give up on the tunnel altogether: " Absolutely disgusting, it's already extortionate and that's with 10% off with a permit," he wrote.

"Once the A1 is fully open (going past the Metrocentre) I'll be using that to and from work."

Karen Capaldi wanted to see the return of charging for motorbikes: "Absolute disgrace! It already costs me over £60 a month...charge the motorbikes and give the regular commuters with a pass a bigger discount," she said.

Julie Hogg wrote: "The Blackwall tunnel under the river Thames in London looks identical to the Tyne Tunnel.

"They have a new one going one way (40 mph) and an old one going the other (30mph) Only difference is the one in London is free oh and there's less traffic jams as no one has to wait to pay tolls.

Angela Ray and Yovonne Watson were in the minority: "I'm happy to pay because if it wasn't there, the round trip would be a nightmare," said Angela, while Yvonne added: " I use the tunnel every day.

"I'm happy to pay the extra for the convenience. I do think motorcycles should pay too, through a dedicated motorcycle lane."