The new free flow tolling solution at the Tyne Tunnel in Newcastle is facing criticism over inconsistencies with how appeals against fines are handled.
Drivers are fined £60 for not paying the £1.90 fare, although they say it depends who you speak to as to whether your appeal is upheld.
A petition calling for changes to the way toll charges are applied, and for a more equitable fines process, has had more than 7,500 people support it.
It claims, “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.”
Now the Northern Echo reports Labour MP for South Shields, Emma Lewell-Buck is calling for a “robust appeals process” at the tunnels.
She has raised the issue in the House of Commons saying that the response by Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg was “positive” but that the Department for Transport says that the issue doesn’t concern them “shows government incompetance”.
A Tyne Tunnel spokesperson told the Northern Echo, “The contract with TT2 states that staff dealing with appeals must follow a set of agreed rules that determine which appeals should be allowed.
“Appeal staff must follow the rules in place and TT2 has no discretion to change these rules without Transport North East’s agreement.”
(Picture – Tyne Tunnel 2)