Urban River improve Tyne Tunnel permit system

Published: March 2012

When construction of the tunnel began in 2008, the day when both tunnels were in full operation seemed a long way off. But on 21st November 2011 that mission was completed and 2 lanes of traffic (40,000 vehicles) freely passed through the tunnels for the first time, but the project didn’t stop there.

Back in 2007, TT2 took on the role of Concessionaire for the New Tyne Crossing and soon-after employed Urban River, a full-service design agency in South Shields to build a main and mobile version of their website.

The ‘Phase 1’ website, built in 2009, featured improved traffic information, web cams and tariff details, plus it allowed web visitors to view waiting times and other travel news via their iPhone or other mobile devices. Frequent users of the tunnels could also purchase permits via the web, saving them time and money.

Fast forward nearly 3 years and the ‘Phase 5’ website has just launched to coincide with the opening of the 2nd tunnel; the top-up permit payment system now handles over 40,000 visitors per month.

John Barker, Head of Digital at Urban River, said “To help TT2 we upgraded their content management system so it was faster and used the latest technology. Login security is also improved as permit holders now need a passcode (as well as email and password) to access their accounts; this was inspired by online and mobile banking examples.  Finally, we gave permit holders the option to view their statement which records journey data as well as remaining balance.”

Trevor Jackson, Managing Director of TT2, said “increasing numbers of our customers are using mobile devices to access information about the Tyne Tunnels, particularly journey time data. We responded to this by commissioning Urban River to create a dedicated mobile version of the TT2 website.

The mobile website is designed to make the relevant information easily accessible and attractive when viewed on mobile devices. We’re very pleased with the look and feel of the site and it appears to be popular with those customers wanting information on the go.”

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