"It was very important to us that the jobs were not located abroad or elsewhere in the UK, but right here in the North East..."
Chief Executive at TT, Philip Smith
A new, open-road-tolling system being introduced at the Tyne Tunnels to make journeys quicker and cut congestion, has created 80 new jobs.
TT2, which operates the tunnels on behalf of the North East Combined Authorities, has created a range of new roles at its newly developed contact centre in Wallsend.
Before the end of the year, drivers will, for the first time ever, be able to drive straight through the tunnels, without stopping, and either pre-pay or pay afterwards for their journey. This project – called Tyne Pass – has generated a whole range of new employment opportunities for local people.
The jobs include support, supervisory, management and technical roles across the business - from customer service and quality assurance, to training and development, to IT.
Chief Executive at TT2, Philip Smith said: “We are really pleased to be able to support our local communities with these new opportunities. It was very important to us that the jobs were not located abroad or elsewhere in the UK but right here in the North East because we know that local people will provide our customers with a first class service.
“We are undertaking a phased approach to changing the tunnels over to open-road-tolling and many of these new roles have been created to support our customers during this period of change and beyond.
“Around 67% of our customers now have pre-paid accounts to pay their tolls and this is increasing by around 2% every week. Many of the new jobs were created to support customers to change over to pre-paid accounts. Pre-paying is a popular option because it makes each journey 10% cheaper, ensures you never forget to pay your toll, and is free to set up and use.”
Lisa, 39, from Cramlington, was unemployed before winning a job at TT2. She explains: “When I lost my job in travel due to the pandemic, I was at a loss. I decided to look for a different career path as the travel sector wasn’t an option.
“Within six weeks of starting my job as a customer experience agent, I managed to secure a team leader position. The Tyne Pass project is really exciting to work on and I have learned so many new skills. The team is growing and it’s great to be a part of that.”
Open road tolling will create quicker, smoother, more reliable journeys for tunnel users and reduce congestion. It is also much better for the environment – it will significantly reduce CO2 emissions (by 50,000 tonnes per year) and improve local air quality. Businesses will save time, and therefore money, by being able to transport goods faster.