Jarrow MP helps constituent get £32,000 Tyne Tunnel charge scrapped

Kate Osborne, Member of Parliament for Jarrow, has helped to get multiple Tyne Tunnel charges scrapped for her constituents.

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Kate Osborne has successfully lobbied the operator of the Tyne Tunnel to get multiple charges scrapped.

The Jarrow MP was contacted by a constituent earlier this month who had received a fine of unpaid charges and added fees totalling more than £32,000.

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The constituent informed Kate that she had started a new job that involved driving through the Tyne Tunnel but her employer, who was the account holder, had mistakenly typed a digit wrong for the registration plate.

This mistake then led to numerous fines being issued against the constituent, causing her stress and anxiety.

The employer had been in contact with TT2 about the issue on numerous occasions but were unable to get the problem resolved.

Following contact from Kate's office, the charges were written off and the employer agreed to paid the remaining outstanding balance of around £800.

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Kate has expressed her delight after the "ridiculous" fees were scrapped by TT2.

The Tyne Tunnel. Photo: National World.The Tyne Tunnel. Photo: National World.
The Tyne Tunnel. Photo: National World.

She said: "I am delighted that these inaccurate outstanding toll charges and added fees have been settled.

“I've had a number of constituents contact me regarding inaccurate charging, but this instance of £32,000 was frankly ridiculous.

I know this matter was causing a great deal of stress and anxiety, with both my constituent and her employer raising this with Tyne Tunnel without success.

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"I am pleased that following my contact with Tyne Tunnel 2, they finally agreed to scrap the vast majority of the outstanding toll charges and penalties”

TT2 has responded to the Jarrow MP's claims and has stated that it had done nothing wrong with issuing the unpaid toll charge notices (UTCNs).

A TT2 spokesperson commented: “We refute the claim that the UTCNs were issued incorrectly - the UTCNs were issued correctly.  

“When the tunnel-user received 11 unpaid toll charge notices (UTCNs), she contacted TT2 to query them, and it transpired that her employer (the account holder) had incorrectly entered her car registration.

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"We recognised that this was an unintentional input error, by her employer, and cancelled of all of the UTCNs as a gesture of goodwill. 

“From this point on wards we did not receive any further appeals.

“The tunnel-user’s employer is responsible for ensuring all details on their account are correct and because her employer did not amend the reg number (as advised to the tunnel-user, by TT2) more UTCNs were incurred and a significant amount of correspondence was sent to the tunnel-user. 

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“TT2 is only permitted to issue UTCNs to the registered keeper of the vehicle and, unfortunately, due to GDPR legislation, we can only discuss UTCNs with the registered keeper.

"Therefore, TT2’s hands were tied in terms of being able to bypass the tunnel-user (who we have subsequently discovered was unable to deal with the UTCNs due to poor mental health) and instead, communicate with her employer to find a resolution.  

“We sympathise with the tunnel-user and must stress that, had she reached out to us to appeal those UTCNs, we would have been able, and happy, to help. Once we were made aware of the situation, we wrote off the bulk of the debt. 

“Administration costs are incurred by TT2 for every unpaid toll and these UTCNs were issued correctly to the registered keeper of a car that was travelling through the tunnels without paying tolls.

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“We would urge any customers who are experiencing difficulty with paying a UTCN or understanding why they are receiving a UTCN to get in touch with TT2 as soon as possible to appeal it, explaining their circumstances fully, so that we can help.”