Temporary traffic lights to be brought in at Tyne Tunnel as part of pilot scheme

Temporary traffic lights are to be piloted at the Tyne Tunnel in a bid to reduce congestion, it has been announced.

The Tyne Tunnel.
The Tyne Tunnel.

TT2 Limited, the operator of the Tyne Tunnels, has announced it is piloting the scheme from next week.

The five-day trial, which begins on Monday, March 18, until Friday, March 22, will see temporary lights in place to filter the flow of traffic from the A185 loop road heading northbound through the tunnel, merging with the A19.

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The traffic lights will be in operation between 7am and 9.30am.

A similar trial was conducted last year, however since then, the inspection lane on the A185 loop road has been opened to all traffic.

Since the inspection lane became available to all customers, research by TT2 Limited has found that queuing time on the A185 Loop Road has reduced from an average of five minutes to one minute.

Chris Ward, customer operations manager at TT2 Limited said: “We have had lots of positive feedback from customers about our recently introduced ANPR system, however we still have customers asking if we can do anything about the queues, and we are constantly looking at ways we can improve the customer journey.

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"By trialling the temporary traffic lights, we hope to address some of these issues.

“TT2 will be in control of the lights and monitoring the impact very closely and have looked at the optimum length of time for the traffic to be held at peak times, to ensure the flow of traffic is as seamless as possible.”

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Phil Smith, CEO of TT2 Limited said: “We appreciate that traffic lights are never popular, however, after our previous trial, the opening of the inspection lane, and lessons learned, we genuinely think that we can help to reduce congestion.

“The lights are part of TT2 Limited’s long-term strategic goal to make the Tyne Tunnel a quick, convenient and reliable gateway between North and South Tyneside, and we are looking at a number of initiatives which we are sure will improve the customer experience long term.”