The operator of the Tyne Tunnel has appointed a 'customer champion’ to represent the views of drivers.
Chris Ward has been given the newly-created role of customer operations manager by operator TT2 Limited.
In his role, Mr Ward from Jarrow, will listen to the views of drivers about how the service currently operates and will pass on feedback to management.
He said: “My primary duty is to be the voice of the customer within TT2 Limited by listening to their views and comments about how the service currently operates and ensuring this is clearly understood by senior management.
“I will be there to challenge my colleagues at every level and to ensure that the motorist remains at the heart of everything we do.
“Our aim is to make the whole process much more responsive and customer-focussed.
"We hope that by listening more intently to those who use the Tyne Tunnels, we can further improve our service.”
TT2 is looking at a number of initiatives to improve the customer experience - ranging from improving the toll payment process to dealing with its administration team.
As well as his ‘customer champion’ role, Chris is also senior traffic officer, who is responsible for staff manning the tunnels.
He also follows up any incidents as well as monitoring users’ complaints and compliments.
Chris has a great deal of experience working in customer-facing services, beginning his career at City Bank before progressing to Northern Rock and NCFE.
He said: “I grew up in Jarrow, which is a stone’s throw from the Tyne Tunnels and as such I feel very proud to be working for what is a Tyneside icon used by the hundreds of thousands of drivers every year.”
Phil Smith, chief executive officer of TT2 Limited, said: "I am confident that this newly-created and pivotal role will bring our customers’ views sharply into focus and help highlight the areas in which we need to improve.
“The customer is king because quite simply we rely on their toll payments to maintain the service so it is vital that we listen and deliver the highest standards possible.”