Thousands of Tyne Tunnel users sign up to new number plate recognition technology

More than 13,000 drivers have registered their vehicles to use the new high-tech toll system at the Tyne Tunnel.

Monday, 24th December 2018, 5:00 am
The Tyne Tunnel barriers on the North side
The Tyne Tunnel barriers on the North side

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology removes the need for permits and cash payments.

The technology was tested last month and has been in place since November 28.

There are around 40,000 prepaid customers - including 11,000 who have recently switched from the permits to ANPR.

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Of the total number of ANPR registrations made already, 2,000 come from users who haven’t previously been signed up for a tunnel permit.

Tyne Tunnel bosses hope the upgrade to the tolling system will make the route more reliable, and improve journey times for those who use it.

The new technology will eventually lead to the phasing out of windscreen permits which use an electronic tag to signal to open the barriers.

In the long term, it will form part of a planned ‘free flow’ system that will see toll booths on the north side of the tunnel removed but tunnel bosses say this will be some years into the future.

Eventually, all tunnel users may have to log their car registration details with tunnel authorities, removing the opportunity to pay by cash.

Chris Ward, customer operations manager at TT2, said: “The registration has only been up for a few weeks and we’ve already had 2,000 new drivers signing up.

“We’re happy that we are on target with the number of registrations.”

TT2 has released an informative video showing drivers how to sign up for the new cashless system.

The video also shows how to make a payment on its newly updated website, how to pass through the barriers and what to do if they do not open

To sign up to ANPR, drivers must log on to the Tyne Tunnel website and add their vehicle details.