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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Toll rise proposal to fund tunnel
Tyne Tunnel (picture courtesy of freefoto.com)
The new tunnel will run alongside the existing crossing
The Tyne Tunnel toll could rise by 10p to 1.10 for cars to help fund the cost of a second crossing.

The new tunnel, which is due to open in 2011 alongside the 39-year-old current tunnel, is being built to ease congestion and will cost 185m.

The New Tyne Crossing project, which will operate the crossing, is asking the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority (TWPTA) to approve the rise.

It is also proposing that the toll for HGVs goes up from 1.20 to 1.50.

Paul Fenwick, project director of the New Tyne Crossing, said: "We know that tolls will have to rise to pay for the construction of the second vehicle tunnel and for the operation of all tunnels under the river.

Final decision

"By increasing tolls in small incremental amounts each year, we hope that tunnel users will continue to see the Tyne Tunnel as a cost-effective option for their journeys.

"Tolls were increased to 1 for cars around five years ago, so a 10p rise is less than inflation over that period."

The shortlisted groups to build the tunnel are French firm Bouygues and Connect North East, which includes Balfour Beatty.

A final decision on which group will take the contract forward will be made in the summer of 2007.

The new tunnel will run under the River Tyne between East Howdon and Jarrow, and would complete the dualling of the A19 from its junction with the A1 in South East Northumberland to North Yorkshire.


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