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Boss defends cashless Tyne Tunnel toll system fines

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The new toll system introduced last November at the Tyne Tunnel has come under fire, as a petition against the fines imposed reaches over 11,000 signatures.

Drivers are allowed until midnight the following day to pay their toll fee, otherwise they are issued a £60 charge.

Chief Executive at Tyne Tunnel 2, Philip Smith, defended the cashless Tyne Tunnel system in a statement to North East Updates: “We believe that the pay-by-midnight-next-day system gives people the best chance of remembering to pay.

The payment time frame was selected to minimize the number of Charge Notices that are issued, based upon advice from all the similar UK and Irish river crossings.”

Tyne Tunnel switched to the cashless system in hopes of shortening journey times, in turn helping reduce pollution.

The previous payment method involved either using cash or a bank card to pay at the toll booths.

This traditional system has been replaced so drivers now either use a pre-paid account or pay later online.

Gary Spedding launched a petition demanding that there must be changes made to the way toll charges are applied and the fines must be replaced with a more “ethical cost.”

The petition claims: “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 issued by TT2 Limited.”

If paid within 14 days, there is a half price reduction, however, for those who don’t pay within 28 days, the fines are increased to £100.

Spedding’s petition asks for all charges issued in the last 6 months prior to 1st January 2022 to be cancelled.

In order for the penalty to be more suitable for the typical working-class user of the Tyne Tunnel, the petition calls for a £20 initial fee, with the possibility of a reduction to £5.

This is coupled with a maximum £40 fine up until 42 days.

The petition also urges for the period given to pay later to change to 5 working days.

Smith added in his statement increasing the time frame to pay the initial fee may lead to people forgetting, which could affect the current non-compliance rate of 5%: “Having longer to pay also makes the process increasingly confusing and open to error for customers who make multiple or frequent journeys because it’s more difficult to keep track of how many tolls they need to pay, and by when, and for some – remember which vehicle they were driving on each journey.

Following the publics complaints, TT2 bosses attended a meeting of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear sub-committee.

Smith acknowledged that there are improvements to be made to the system, such as notifications to warn users if their account amount is low or empty.

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Sunday for Sammy Concert Cancelled For 2023 Due To Cost of Living

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A popular charity concert will not be held in 2023 due to the cost of living crisis.

Sunday for Sammy, which is held in memory of North East actor Sammy Johnson, is a biennial event aimed at benefitting young performers.

The long-running event has featured the likes of Joe McElderry, Johnny Vegas, Brenda Blethyn, Denise Welch, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler, Jill Halfpenny and Ant and Dec.

Tim Healy, who hosts Sunday for Sammy, said: “We’ve had lots of enquiries over the recent months asking when the next Sunday for Sammy will take place.

“We are very much aware at the moment that people are struggling with day-to-day living costs and are watching their pennies. Everything is becoming more and more expensive and that includes the cost of putting on a show the size of ours.”

He added: “We can’t in good conscious put on a show that we aren’t sure people can afford to be tickets for. It would be wrong to risk your money you have generously given us.

“So sadly we have decided that there won’t be a show in 2023. We’re going to wait until the time is right.”

Often dubbed The Geordie Command Performance, the shows, which have been running for more than 20 years, are held in memory of Geordie actor Sammy Johnson, who died in 1999.

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STACK Newcastle Bosses Scrap Plans For Christmas Pop-Up Venue

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The owners of STACK have confirmed that there won’t be a pop-up version in Newcastle this Christmas, as plans have been shelved.

At the end of September it was reported that STACK’s owner, Danieli Group, were hoping to bring the brand back to the heart of Newcastle after its Pilgrim Street site was demolished earlier this year, after becoming a firm favourite with locals and visitors since 2018. The pop-up, close to the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Stephenson Quarter, looked set to be a massive draw before STACK makes its permanent return to the city next year, was planned to feature a number of shipping container bars, a new take on its famous Hadrian’s Tipi, street food vans, a stage and large screen, all on one level.

But, it has now been announced that the proposed STACK festive pop-up won’t be happening anymore. Confirming the decision, Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Group said that while it was sad news that the pop-up would no longer take place, it meant the company can forge ahead with the Worswick Chambers plan.

He commented: “We know how much people miss not having a STACK in Newcastle so we are concentrating our efforts on creating what will become a flagship site back where STACK first began,” he said.

“Work is well underway on the scheme with a view to being open in winter 2023.”

In recent weeks it has announced new developments in Lincoln, Durham, Bishop Auckland and Carlisle.

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