20,000 signatures reached
To: TT2 Limited
Tyne Tunnel Fines
As users of the Tyne Tunnel we demand changes to the way toll charges are applied and request a scrapping of the current fine system to be replaced with a more equitable process and ethical cost.
Shortly after the new 'open road toll' system came into operation the number of fines that users of the Tyne Tunnel have received has skyrocketed. At present the way the system functions means that road users have less than 48 hours (midnight the day after their journey) to pay the toll.
There are a number of errors with the transition from the old system to the new one - including the fact those who had a reference number to pay a toll charge later have found the system not accepting these despite it being printed clearly on their ticket. The new system also seems to miss a number of people who have pre-paid or paid well within the time frame set and fines have subsequently been issued.
The number of errors with the new system, coupled with the massive increase in the number of people receiving fines, is simply unacceptable. Countless individuals have come forward to relay the severe distress and financial hardship caused by the penalty fines being issues by TT2 Limited.
As such we call upon TT2 Limited to take the following action:
1. Cancel all unpaid toll charges issued in the last 6 months prior to 1st January 2022.
2. Increase the time period for which to 'pay later' from 48 hours to 5 working days.
3. Engage in a concerted advertising campaign to ensure people are fully aware of how the Tyne Tunnel now works and encourage frequent travellers to sign up for a pre-paid account.
4. Scrap the current penalty charge system and replace with the following more ethical structure: For those who miss their deadline to pay should receive an initial fine of no more than £20, which should be reduced to £5.00 if paid within 14 days of the date the fine was generated. These amounts are more ethical and affordable to the average user of the Tyne Tunnel - many of whom come from working class backgrounds or may be suffering from hardship due to the current economic climate. If paying a penalty charge then the original 'toll fare' should be taken out of the fine paid so that people are not being charged extra. If a person fails to pay the initial £20 fine within 28 days, it should rise to no more than £40 and only after a period of 42 days should this be passed to a debt collection agency where "additional administrative charges" of no more than a further £25 should be added.
5. Review the appeals process and produce clear guidance that is publicly available on what the policies of TT2 Limited are in relation to travel through the tunnel, what the toll prices are, and the penalty charge procedures. Ensuring that each individual case is considered carefully and with sensitivity.
Why is this important?
If you want an ethical system in place for the Tyne Tunnel and wish to ensure penalty charges are not being used to harm ordinary working class individuals and families then get on board. The change in how the Tyne Tunnel operates has caused chaos for road users with many being stung with fines that they did not deserve. This entire system needs to be reviewed and it is the TT2 Limited company that is responsible for deciding it's penalty charge policies.