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Road user watchdog helps improve Tyne Tunnels customer experience

An independent review into the way the Tyne Tunnels handles complaints is enabling the operator of the major river crossing to improve its customer experience.

The findings and recommendations of an assessment by independent consumer watchdog for Britain’s transport users – Transport Focus – have been released today 22 August 2023, in a report published on the Transport Focus website.

TT2, which operates the tunnels on behalf of the local authorities in Tyne and Wear, voluntarily appointed Transport Focus in 2021 to carry out a full, objective review of how customer complaints are managed, and recommend improvements.

In relation to complaints and appeals, Transport Focus assessed a number of randomly selected customer complaints, relevant policies and the usability of TT2’s website, between December 2021 and August 2022.

In response to the findings, TT2 has already made a host of changes to make the process of appealing unpaid toll charge notices (UTCNs) easier and quicker and more customer-focussed enhancements are underway.

Chief executive of Transport Focus, Anthony Smith said: “While we saw many elements of good practice in the way TT2 dealt with complaints, we have recommended improvements in some areas.  We are pleased to see that TT2 has responded quickly and already implemented several of these, with others in the pipeline.”

Chief Operating Officer of TT2, Shaun Simmons, comments: “We welcome the report and thank the Transport Focus team for their feedback and guidance. This has been an incredibly valuable exercise in our journey to continually improve our customer service for the drivers of the 1.6 million vehicles that use the tunnels every month.”

In November 2021, TT2 switched to a cashless operation of open road tolling, monitored by vehicle registration cameras. As a result of this, journey times, congestion and C02 emissions have all been reduced.

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Overhead view of Tyne Tunnels

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