Tyne Pass Scheme at the Tyne Tunnels

Transport North East is supporting TT2 Limited who implemented a barrierless open-road tolling scheme at the Tyne Tunnels in 2021. The objectives of the new scheme are already being achieved as they are to modernise the payment system, speed up journeys for drivers, and reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion.

Tyne Pass Scheme

Tyne Pass is the biggest development at the tunnels since the construction of the second tunnel. The scheme has modernised the payment system, reduced journey times for drivers, and reduced associated carbon emissions and traffic congestion. The scheme has also created new local jobs based at TT2’s offices in Howdon. Tyne Pass is a barrierless open-road tolling scheme, so it has involved the removal of the former toll booths – drivers are no longer required to stop to pay for passage.

All customers now pay their toll in advance of their journey or after their journey by midnight of the next day.

Customers can pay in a variety of ways including:

• online 

• by phone 

• at a PayPoint terminal in numerous retail outlets 

• by pre-paid account (75% of journeys are by pre-paid account holders which includes a 10% discount per journey)

The phone and PayPoint options allow those who are not proficient on digital devices to pay by other means and around 4% of drivers are using these payment options currently. There is also a dedicated contact centre open seven days a week for drivers to call with any queries about the system should they need support or guidance. Signage at the tunnels and an extensive marketing campaign throughout the region is ongoing, informing drivers of the payment timeframe and ways to pay for their journey. 

The changes made by TT2 are supported by Transport North East (on behalf of the North East Joint Transport Committee), and represent a large investment in the region, with benefits for customers such as:

  • Shorter journey times
  • A 10% saving when pre-paying for journeys
  • Less hassle finding change
  • More means of payment: Over the phone, with cash at a Paypoint, online via website or app and prepaid
  • Improved air quality-50,000 tonnes of emissions saved
  • Reduced congestion along this key stretch of the A19, helping serve communities on both sides of the Tyne
Cars driving through the Tyne Tunnel

Tyne Pass Legislation Changes

In order to implement the Tyne Pass Scheme, changes are required to legislation. The changes required are modifications to the River Tyne (Tunnels) Order 2005, amendments to the River Tyne (Tunnels) (Revision of Tolls) Order 2021 and revision of the Tyne Tunnels Byelaws 2020.

The amendments will have the effect of updating the legislation to remove references to cash payments at the toll plaza, to amend vehicle classifications in line with DVLA criteria and to modify disabled persons’ toll exemptions to enable the barrierless system to operate. A public consultation has been carried out in the relation to the changes to the disabled persons’ toll exemptions. A link to the consultation feedback received as well as our response can be found in the following link here .

The draft legislation will be posted on this website as it is prepared for submission.

1. An application is being made to the Secretary of State for Transport for an order on behalf of the North East Combined Authority and the North of Tyne Combined Authority (‘the Authority’) under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Transport and Works Act 1992 to modify the River Tyne (Tunnels) Order 2005 (‘the 2005 Order’).  The proposed order is to be called the River Tyne (Tunnels) (Modification) Order 2021 (‘the Proposed Order’). See draft order and draft explanatory memorandum here and public notice here.

2.  An application has been made and approved by the Secretary of State to revoke the 2020 Tyne Tunnels Byelaws and make new byelaws for the Tyne Tunnels. See current 2021 byelaws here.

3. An application has been made and approved by the Secretary of State for Transport to make an amendment of the River Tyne (Tunnels) (Revision of Tolls) Order 2021.  The Order replaces one aspect of the definitions of the classes of vehicle as set out in the table below.

Provision of the Order to be amendedWords to be replacedWords to be substituted
Schedule to the River Tyne (Tunnels) (Revision of Tolls) Order 2021“Mechanically propelled vehicle other than a vehicle in Class 1; Having a height of 2 metres or less, or Having a height greater than 2 metres and less than 3 metres and maximum of 2 axles, or Being an articulated vehicle with tractor unit height of 2 metres or less and trailer height of less than 3 metres”“Mechanically propelled vehicle other than a vehicle in Class 1, having a maximum weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes”

For more information on the Tyne Tunnels, click here.

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