£100 fines for late Tyne Tunnel payments under barrier-free system

Drivers could face late payment fines of up to £100 if barriers are removed from the Tyne Tunnel.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 7:22 am
Tyne Tunnel, South Tyneside entrance

Instead of stopping to hand over cash, motorists will be able to pass through using the existing system in which a fee is taken from a prepaid account linked to their numberplate, or would have until midnight the following day to settle up.

Those who don’t cough up within the time frame would run the risk of a penalty, but road chiefs have warned this must be clearly spelled out to travellers.

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“Enforcement charges will be in place for drivers who don’t pay on time,” said Tyne Tunnels Manager Fiona Bootle.

“There could be a reputational risk to the tunnel if information is not communicated to drivers.

“New drivers will need to be made aware it is a toll road and they need to make the payment.”

She added: “Signage will be really important to ensure people know how to make payment and when.”

Bootle was speaking at a meeting of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s (JTC) Tyne and Wear Sub Committee.

Management of the new Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system, which will replace the barriers, is expected to create up to 80 jobs.

Drivers will be able to pay for their journeys by phone, online or with cash at shops with Payzone facilities.

Late payment fines will start at £30 if paid within 14 days, rising to £100 after 28 days.

Martin Gannon, the JTC’s chairman, said: “The current system is outdated and causes delays for drivers resulting in excess carbon emissions from traffic accelerating after leaving the tolls booths.

“This new system is a positive step towards the decarbonisation of the transport network and achieving our vision of moving to a green, healthy, dynamic and thriving North East.”

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