In preparation of major changes coming to the Tyne Tunnels in November 2021 the operator TT2 launched a regionwide communications campaign.
For the first time in its 54-year-old history, vehicles were going to be able to drive straight through the Tyne Tunnels without stopping and paying at the traditional toll booths. The new open-road-tolling system – called Tyne Pass – was introduced to cut congestion, making the journey much smoother and quicker, while also reducing pollution.
TT2 appointed MHW PR to assist in the communications campaign to alert motorists and the business community to the changes, the benefits and the new payment methods.
The overall communications campaign, managed by TT2, was multi-channel, featuring ads and messaging online, outdoor, in press, and on radio, along with leaflets and presentations.
It was acknowledged that it was particularly important to promote and explain the range of payment methods which include:
– Pre-Paid account with Auto Top-up
– Pre-pay for up to 10 journeys at a PayPoint (cash) or online
– Pay after your journey online – www.TT2.co.uk
– Pay after your journey via PayPoint (cash)
– Pay after your journey via telephone – 0191 574 0030
Payments must be made by midnight the day after your journey. Fines will be incurred if payment is not made during this period.
MHW worked with press, radio and regional TV to highlight the impending changes, the reasons for the change and the different ways to pay. We also engaged with bloggers along with key members of the business community, including the North East England Chamber of Commerce, to secure buy-in and endorsements. PR was implemented before, during and after the launch.
The Tyne Tunnels are the third river crossing in the UK to launch open-road-tolling, with two other similar cashless systems operating successfully at Dartford Tunnel and Mersey Gateway.
Chief Executive at TT2, Philip Smith adds: “We are incredibly excited to see open-road-tolling go live – it’s a historic moment and a key move in 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.”