Ruth Mitchell

Move to increase Tyne Tunnel toll to fund second crossing

A recommendation to increase the toll using the Tyne Tunnel by 10p to £1.10 for cars has been put before the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority. The rise is intended to help fund the creation of a second crossing which is expected to open in 2011.

The £185m second Tyne tunnel, linking the A19 under the River Tyne between East Howdon (North Tyneside) and Jarrow (South Tyneside), is intended to alleviate congestion in the existing crossing. If the Authority approves the increase, tolls for HGVs will rise from £1.20 to £1.50.

Paul Fenwick, project director of the New Tyne Crossing, said: “We know that tolls will have to rise to pay for the construction of the second vehicle tunnel and for the operation of all the tunnels under the river. “By increasing tolls in small incremental amounts each year we hope that tunnel users will continue to see the Tyne Tunnel as a cost-effective option for their journeys. “Tolls were increased to £1 for cars around five years ago, so a 10p rise is less than inflation over that period.”

It is estimated that the toll for cars at the Tyne Tunnel could range between £1.55 and £2.10 at today’s prices once the second vehicle tunnel is opened. If the rise is approved, the decision has to be ratified by the Secretary of State for Transport. The proposed increase will take effect from January 1 2007.

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