Motorcycle tolls lifted at Tyne Tunnel

9th September 2011

From Monday 12th September 2011, motorcycles will be able to travel toll-free through the Tyne Tunnel.

The Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA) has agreed to allow free passage for motorcycles in order to reduce delays at the toll plaza caused by motorcyclists attempting to pay their tolls, and reflecting the minimal wear and tear created by these vehicles upon the tunnel infrastructure.

Paul Fenwick, New Tyne Crossing Project Director for the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority, said: “The Authority has been sympathetic to the case for motorcyclists to use the Tyne Tunnel without paying a toll and it agreed at its meeting in August to abolish it for this class of user. The physical difficulties motorcyclists encounter when using the tolls, for example the need to take off gloves to find the right coins, often meant delays for other motorists.
 
“The financial impact of the change will be negligible. Revenue from the 157,000 financial transactions involving motorcyclists in 2010/11 was only 0.26% of overall Tyne Tunnel revenue.”

Motorcycles will be automatically recognised by the operating system installed at the new toll plaza, which came into use in February this year as part of the New Tyne Crossing project.

There will be no need for motorcyclists to obtain permits to enable their free passage, as the barriers will lift automatically on their approach, freeing up traffic movement through the plaza.

This announcement comes months before the second vehicle tunnel is due to come into operation. With two tunnels in use capacity at the river crossing will more than double, removing congestion at this traffic pinch point and transforming traffic flow on the A19.

Refurbishment of the 1967 road tunnel has made excellent progress, with the tunnel due to be commissioned for use by December this year, on programme and on budget.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact Tamsin Greulich at TT2 Limited on 07866 565 457 or Felicity Hall for TWITA on 0191 265 8803.

Notes:
1.    The New Tyne Crossing is the project to complete the dualling of the A19 at the Tyne Tunnel between Jarrow and East Howdon. The £260M project is being delivered by TT2 Limited (the New Tyne Crossing concessionaire), the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (the project promoter), and Bouygues Travaux Publics UK (the main design and build contractor).
2.    The project comprises the construction of a new road tunnel, full refurbishment of the original 1967 Tyne vehicle tunnel, construction of new highways structures at the south junction, and new tolls plazas north of the Tyne.
3.    The project is being delivered as a Private Public Partnership under a 30-year concession.
4.    The new two-lane road tunnel came into operation on 26 February 2011, at which point the original vehicle tunnel closed to traffic to undergo a major refurbishment.
5.    Both tunnels will be open for use by January 2012, at which point the new tunnel will accommodate only southbound traffic and the original tunnel only northbound traffic.
6.    The project is entirely funded by toll revenues. Tolls are agreed and set by the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority and collected on their behalf by TT2 Limited.
7.    Further information is available at www.newtynecrossing.info