Tyne Tunnels launch direct debit top-up for pre-paid customers

Phil Smith, CEO of TT2.
Phil Smith, CEO of TT2.

Motorists using the Tyne Tunnel on a regular basis can now set up a direct debit to keep their accounts topped up.

TT2 Limited, the operator of the Tyne Tunnels, has introduced a the new top-up facility for its pre-paid customers as part of a programme of digital enhancements to improve user experience.

The barriers at the Tyne Tunnel.

The barriers at the Tyne Tunnel.

Since November last year, TT2 has upgraded its website to make it more customer friendly, introduced automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) at the barriers, and released a mobile app for iOS and Android phones.

Customers using TT2's pre-pay service can now set up a direct debit using the website or the app, without the need for a paper agreement in most cases.

Payments can be taken on the first or 15th of each month.

Phil Smith, CEO of TT2 Limited, said the changes introduce a "quicker and easier" way for regular customers to top up and use the service.

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He continued: “We have received a lot of feedback from customers asking that we offer a direct debit linked to their account, and it’s something we’ve been able to introduce quickly as part of our ongoing digital enhancements.

“We have made signing up quick and easy, and we firmly believe that our regular users and business customers will see the benefit of being able to top up by direct debit immediately.

“We are already receiving a great deal of positive feedback about the app and ANPR, and we are excited about our upcoming talks with the Transport Sub-Committee about our Tyne Pass plans.”

Direct debit top-ups are now available to all pre-paid customers.

The introduction of ANPR technology at the tunnel in 2018 enabled customers with pre-paid permits to pass straight through the barriers.

Last month, North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub Committee gave the go-ahead to plans which will see existing toll booths at the tunnel phased out in favour of all customers using ANPR.

This would mean drivers without a permit or pre-pay account will have their number plate scanned, allowing them to pay later online or over the phone.

It is hoped that the changes will ease congestion, smooth traffic flows and reduce air pollution.