Tolls paid by drivers using the Tyne Tunnels are to go up by 10p from midnight on Saturday 21 May. The new tolls will apply to motorists using the tunnels from Sunday 22 May.

The North East Combined Authority (neca), which owns the Tyne Tunnels, has confirmed that the 10p increase will apply to both car and heavy goods drivers. The increase was agreed by neca as part of the budget in January.

The tolls will be £1.70 for cars and £3.30 for heavy goods vehicles, with permit holders continuing to get a 10 per cent discount on each journey. Motorbikes and services buses use the tunnels toll-free.

This is the first toll increase in more than two years and is linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) figures approved by the Secretary of State for Transport. No further revisions can be made within the next 12 months.

The Tyne Tunnels remain an essential link for residents, visitors and businesses in the region and the tolls generate income which covers the overall running and maintenance cost, along with the cost of developing the second tunnel.

The running of the tunnels and the repayment of investment is paid for through toll monies and not through council tax.

The second tunnel has benefited tens of thousands of daily commuters and to regional, national and international business communities.

Road users have been informed about the forthcoming toll increases via electronic message signs on the approach to each tunnel.