South Shields parliamentary candidate in Tyne Tunnel protest

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One of the candidates fighting for the South Shields seat took part in a protest at the Tyne Tunnel this morning.

UKIP's Richard Elvin, was joined by other party members, as they staged the protest against the tunnel charges.

Richard Elvin and fellow UKIP members staging protest over Tyne Tunnel charges.

Richard Elvin and fellow UKIP members staging protest over Tyne Tunnel charges.

Mr Elvin said the party's aim is to have the charges scrapped for the good of motorists and businesses in the region and raised banners calling for an end to tolls at the bridge over the A185 south of the tunnel.

It has been on the UKIP manifesto for a long time and Mr Elvin and his colleagues have staged protests at the tunnel for many years.

The cost to use the tunnel now stands at £1.70 for cars per journey and £3.30 for LGVs and vehicles over three metres high.

Mr Elvin said he was pleased with the response from motorists, saying: "There was a lot of cheers and beeping of horns from motorists, which I think shows the strength of support for this cause.

Richard Elvin and fellow UKIP members staging their protest against toll charges at the Tyne Tunnel.

Richard Elvin and fellow UKIP members staging their protest against toll charges at the Tyne Tunnel.

"It is unjust that in Scotland there are no toll charges at all and now Theresa May is saying she will scrap tolls on the Severn Bridge from Wales to England, but it is expected people in the North East pay these charges.

"The area always gets forgotten about, we get nothing up here."

Mr Elvin went on to say the Tyne Tunnel charges are a tax on businesses, because they discourage people from setting up in places where they know their staff will have to pay the toll to get to work and it will cost them large amounts to transport their goods.

He said: "Motorists are the most heavily taxed group of people in the country, but none of the money seems to go into the upkeep of the roads. It is a modern day highway robbery really.

"They have a captive audience because people need to go to work, so they have to pay the toll charges."

A spokesperson for TT2 Limited said: "The tolls for the Tyne Tunnels are set by the North East Combined Authority (NECA) and are necessary to pay for the cost of developing the new crossing and running the two tunnels.”

Richard Elvin is the UKIP candidate standing for the South Shields constituency, along with Felicity Buchan for Conservative, Shirley Ford for the Green Party, Gita Gordon for the Liberal Democrats and Emma Lewell-Buck for the Labour Party.