A driver who was hit with £32,000 worth of Tyne Tunnel fines will now pay just £800 in fines. 

The motorist, who does not wish to be named, believed that they were charged an 'inaccurate' amount when travelling through the Tyne Tunnel and contacted Jarrow MP Kate Osbourne. 

After getting in touch with the North East MP, it appeared that there were multiple drivers who had been hit with high fines that were 'inaccurate'. 

But TT2, who own the Tyne Tunnel, has refuted claims the charges were 'inaccurate' - and has instead claimed that an error between the driver and their employer is to blame.

The Northern Echo: The Tyne TunnelThe Tyne Tunnel (Image: PA MEDIA)

Despite it being claimed that the £32,000 had been racked up in error, the driver had started a new job that was beyond the Tyne Tunnel, with her employer typing in the registration plate of their vehicle incorrectly. 

The motorist, who has health problems, received numerous letters relating to this unpaid charge which caused her a great deal of stress and anxiety.  

As a result of this ever-growing debt, the driver's mental health had taken a severe downward turn and was fearful this substantial debt would eventually impact their job role.

But despite this, TT2 has said that they can 'sympathise' with the motorist but has said that the blame lies with the employer.

The Northern Echo: The driver racked up £32,000 in finesThe driver racked up £32,000 in fines (Image: TYNE TUNNEL)

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Kate Osborne MP said: “I am delighted that these inaccurate outstanding toll charges and added fees have been settled.”

“I've had a number of constituents contact me regarding inaccurate charging, but this instance of £32,000 was frankly ridiculous.

"I know this matter was causing a great deal of stress and anxiety, with both my constituent and her employer raising this with Tyne Tunnel without success, I am pleased that following my contact with Tyne Tunnel 2, they finally agreed to scrap the vast majority of the outstanding toll charges and penalties”

In response, a spokesperson for TT2, which operates the Tyne Tunnels, said: “We refute the claim that the UTCNs were issued incorrectly - the UTCNs were issued correctly.

“When the tunnel-user received 11 unpaid toll charge notices (UTCNs), she contacted TT2 to query them, and it transpired that her employer (the account holder) had incorrectly entered her car registration. We recognised that this was an unintentional input error, by her employer, and cancelled of all of the UTCNs as a gesture of goodwill.

“From this point on wards we did not receive any further appeals.

“The tunnel-user’s employer is responsible for ensuring all details on their account are correct and because her employer did not amend the reg number (as advised to the tunnel-user, by TT2) more UTCNs were incurred and a significant amount of correspondence was sent to the tunnel-user.

“TT2 is only permitted to issue UTCNs to the registered keeper of the vehicle and, unfortunately, due to GDPR legislation, we can only discuss UTCNs with the registered keeper. Therefore, TT2’s hands were tied in terms of being able to bypass the tunnel-user (who we have subsequently discovered was unable to deal with the UTCNs due to poor mental health) and instead, communicate with her employer to find a resolution.

The statement added: “We sympathise with the tunnel-user and must stress that, had she reached out to us to appeal those UTCNs, we would have been able, and happy, to help. Once we were made aware of the situation, we wrote off the bulk of the debt.

“Administration costs are incurred by TT2 for every unpaid toll and these UTCNs were issued correctly to the registered keeper of a car that was travelling through the tunnels without paying tolls.

“We would urge any customers who are experiencing difficulty with paying a UTCN or understanding why they are receiving a UTCN to get in touch with TT2 as soon as possible to appeal it, explaining their circumstances fully, so that we can help.”