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



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..


Sunderland suspend Jack Diamond after player is charged with rape and sexual assault



A Sunderland football player on loan to Lincoln FC has had his loan terminated after he was charged with rape.

Jack Diamond, 23, had been arrested after a sexual assault in Washington, Tyne and Wear, last year.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation, but have now charged him with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.

Lincoln City FC said the player’s loan contract had been terminated “with immediate effect”.

His home club, Sunderland AFC, said he had been suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

In a statement, it said: “Sunderland AFC has been notified that criminal charges have been brought against Jack Diamond by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

“As this matter is subject to a legal process, the club will not be making any further statement at this time”.

The incident is alleged to have happened in May last year.

Mr Diamond, of Fatfield, also Washington, is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in May.

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Paul O’Grady Dies Aged 67, Just Weeks After Newcastle Theatre Performance



TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67,  just weeks after starring in a Newcastle theatre production.

The TV star, who was from Birkenhead on Merseyside, died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening, a statement said.

His partner Andre Portasio made this statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.”

“We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.

“He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.

“I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.”

The TV star, starred in a theatre prodution of Annie just weeks ago in Newcastle as it returned to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from March 7-11.

O’Grady starred as the role of Miss Hannigan, the head of the orphanage who hates children. He had been due to perform the show across the UK up until November this year.

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Karen’s Diner on Tour is BACK IN NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE!!



Karens Diner on Tour Newcastle upon Tyne

Karen’s Diner on Tour coming to town on tour and ‘well if y’all show up in force we’ll either come as a longer term pop up or simply just stay put for a while until we’ve insulted everyone in the North East!’


Get your tickets here: Karens Diner Newcastle tickets


We have spoken to the top Karen who assures everyone who went last time that Bottomless means BOTTOMLESS!

At our pop-up Karen’s you will be greeted and waited upon by rude waiters who in return are expecting you to give it full Karen. A place where you can complain until the cows come home because we literally don’t care. You can expect good food, good fun and a dining experience like you’ve never had before. Let us know if it’s your birthday, if your name is Karen and for the love of Karen don’t ask to speak to the manager….

Your ticket includes a delicious BOTTOMLESS pizza and BOTTOMLESS prossecco or select spirits and mixers as well as select soft drinks drinks for a full 90mins

*We cater for all allergens

You will get full and authentic Karen experience – our games, our waitstaff and the full works. Decent food provided by the venue (we hope) and BOTTOMLESS booze for those who love a drink. This is a dining experience like no other – literally. Come enjoy the OG Karen’s from OG Karen’s.

Don’t accept imitations – book now to avoid missing out!

See our two below YouTube videos from the last time they were in the toon to see what to expect…

Follow our channel for more local videos…

North East Updates YouTube channel


*affiliate link – we may receive payment for sales for this event.

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