TT2 Limited, the operators of the Tyne Tunnels, is uniting with Transport North East Tyne & Wear Sub Committee to express frustration with Highways England over communication around upcoming roadworks.

The move comes after customers were subjected to 30 minute delays, after the A19 just past the Silverlink roundabout northbound was reduced to one lane without prior warning.

The team at TT2 was forced to deploy all staff to the plaza, in order to support customers taken unaware by the roadworks.

Phil Smith, CEO of TT2 Limited said: “We have learned important lessons about ensuring that customers are fully prepared for any changes to the road layout, so that they are prepared for additional congestion, and can plan their journey accordingly.

“We will always endeavour to alert customers via social media and signage if we know of roadworks coming up that will affect customers using the tunnel, but were unable to do so this time, as we had not been made aware ourselves. We were then unable to deal with queries as they arose, as the team had all been deployed to help in situ.

“We would strongly recommend that companies including Highways England make a more concerted effort to make customers aware when works such as this are expected.”

Councillor Gladys Hobson, Chair of the recently formed Transport North East Tyne & Wear Sub Committee, said: “The people of Tyneside are being incredibly patient about the number of roadworks currently happening, and the length of time they take. Highways England must improve its communications with the customers, rather than just expecting them the cope with another, unexpected disruption.

“I hope that the firms involved will all learn something from the unanticipated delays on Wednesday morning, and will take pre-emptive and proactive action to ensure customers know what is happening and when. It is essential for our businesses, our visitors, and our residents.”