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Gateshead Council Stops Taking Cash For Tyne Tunnel Tolls On November 8th

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Tyne Tunnel Now Cashless
Image: Tyne Tunnel

The local authority made a historic change and committed to going cashless.

The new ‘open road tolling’ system means the removal of barriers and traffic lights and the installation of cameras to automatically register journeys instead.

 

Now vehicles will drive straight through the tunnels instead of stopping on their north side to pay at the toll booths.

 

Motorists can now pay the fee using a prepaid account with the tunnel operator TT2, or settle the fee before midnight the night after their journey using an online pay later service, an automated phone line or at a PayPal point.

 

There is now no way of paying to cross the tunnel with cash or contactless cards, with bosses promising that because of this customers will experience faster journeys with far less queueing. Bosses also claim the change will save up to 1,944 hours a week in queueing time, as well as a reduction in C02 emissions by up to 90% with traffic no longer waiting at a standstill.

 

The change to the toll payment system is the biggest switch up drivers will have seen since the opening of the second tunnel in 2011.

 

The local authorities have already been faced with many complaints since the ‘pay later’ ticket option that was introduced last year, at one point nearly one in five drivers received heavy fines when they were unable to pay their toll by midnight the following day. The penalty notice can rise up to £100 as well as the £1.90.

 

Phil Smith, chief executive of TT2 commented ‘We are incredibly excited to see open-road-tolling go live – it’s a historic moment and a key move into modernising the tunnels.

 

“For the millions of customers who use the tunnel each year, gone are the days of scrambling around for change and waiting in queues. This will greatly improve their experience and make it easier and more convenient for them to pay. And, in the case of those who pre-pay, this makes their journeys cheaper too.

 

“We have undertaken a gradual, phased approach to changing the tunnels over to open-road-tolling to give drivers time to adjust and understand the changes to the way the tunnels will work from now on.”

 

He added that around 70% of tunnel users already used a pre-paid account and only 20% currently used cash.

 

Martin Gannon, the leader of Gateshead Council, who also chairs the North East Joint Transport Committee, added that the scheme will “deliver major environmental benefits for our region”.

 

“The investment in a more modern operation will provide major journey time savings, alongside the significant environmental benefits of the scheme. This is a positive step towards the decarbonisation of the transport network and achieving our vision of moving to a green, health, dynamic and thriving North East as outlined in the North East Transport Plan.”

 

What are your thoughts? Have you used the new system yet- Join the conversation on our social media..

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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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Entertainment

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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