Seven employees from TT2 Limited, the operators of the Tyne Tunnel, are celebrating after becoming the first candidates in the UK to achieve the NVQ Level 3 diploma in road tunnel operations.
The new qualification is designed to set the standards for road tunnel operations in the UK and Ireland.
It is the result of a joint venture with the Road Tunnel Association (RTA) and awarding organisation Pro Qual.
Candidates needed to demonstrate their knowledge of control room safety systems and operations, such as ventilation, fixed fire suppression systems, lighting, drainage and traffic control management systems.
Senior tunnel officer Michael Ayre was one of the seven who received the diploma.
He said: “It’s fantastic to be one of the first people in the country to achieve this qualification. Everyone at TT2, our group and the assessors, put a lot of time and energy into making sure we achieved the high standards expected of us.
“I would recommend the qualification to any tunnel staff in the UK.”
The successful candidates were presented with their diplomas at the TT2 offices in Wallsend by Graham Pearce, chair of the RTA, the body that represents tunnel owners and operators.
“This qualification has been developed over the last five years through the close relationship between the RTA and Pro Qual,” he said. “It’s an honour for me to present the first successful candidates with their diplomas. Well done everyone.”