HGV drivers are set to face a 9% increase in the cost of driving through the Tyne Tunnel from next year.

The rise in the toll fee has been attributed to levels of inflation and will see the cost of a single journey through the crossing for lorries increasing from the current £4.40 to £4.80.

In a report by the North East Joint Transport Committee, it said the increase was expected to be signed off in January because local councils were contractually obliged to make inflation-linked payments to the operator to maintain a break-even position: “The financial model for the Tyne Tunnels and the repayment of the debt incurred in the New Tyne Crossing project assumes that tolls will be maintained in real terms to match the rise in contract payments to [operator] TT2 and service debt financing on the tunnels,” the report said.

“As a budget planning principle, it is proposed that the increase in line with RPI be applied as soon as possible, which is expected to be with effect from May 2024.”

In May this year, the toll rose by 50p for HGV drivers and 30p for car drivers, having been frozen for two years before that.