Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 52002PC0769

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the Trans-European Road Network

/* COM/2002/0769 final - COD 2002/0309 */

52002PC0769

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the Trans-European Road Network /* COM/2002/0769 final - COD 2002/0309 */


Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the Trans-European Road Network

(presented by the Commission)

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

1 Background of the proposal

A. Tunnel safety problem

In its White Paper on transport policy, [1] the Commission emphasises the need to consider a European Directive on the harmonisation of minimum safety standards to guarantee a high level of safety for the users of tunnels, particularly those in the Trans-European Transport Network.

[1] Commission White Paper of 12 September 2001: "European transport policy for 2010: time to decide", COM (2001) 370.

Indeed, because of the confined environment, accidents in tunnels, and particularly fires, can have dramatic consequences. The fires in the Mont Blanc and Tauern tunnels in 1999 and in the Gotthard tunnel in 2001 have not just raised concerns for safety in road tunnels. Designers, contractors and operators have accumulated experience over many years. However, these dramatic accidents have put the risks in tunnels in the spotlight again and call for decisions at political level.

The number of accidents in tunnels is relatively limited as tunnels are not exposed to adverse weather conditions such as snow, ice, wind and rain, and this is especially true of longer tunnels. However, fires are fairly frequent although, according to international statistics, the majority of vehicle fires are not caused by accidents, but by self-ignition of the vehicle or its load due to defects in electrical systems or overheated engines. On the other hand, fires with the most serious consequences (fires involving injuries, fatalities or extensive material damage) have mostly been the result of accidents (12 out of the 14 worst fires known world-wide), with the exception of the Mont Blanc tunnel fire, which was caused by self-ignition of a heavy goods vehicle.

In addition, the potential disruption of the transport system following a major fire amplifies these consequences and can cause severe disturbances in the economy of a whole region.

B. State of the art

In new and renovated road tunnels, structural and technical safety installations usually comply with national and international recommendations, requirements or standards. These safety installations can only be fully effective if they are well operated and combined with an efficient emergency service and correct behaviour on the part of road users. Traffic control and monitoring by the police or other authorities can have a preventive effect. However, the constant and intensive efforts of road construction authorities and traffic police cannot fully eliminate the occurrence of accidents and fires in tunnels.

At international level, the Road Tunnels Committee of the World Road Association (PIARC) has produced a number of recommendations, including a report on fire and smoke control. [2] Since 1995, PIARC has been conducting a joint project with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on the transport of dangerous goods through road tunnels, with the support of the European Commission.

[2] PIARC (1999) Committee on Road Tunnels, Fire and Smoke Control in Road Tunnels, Ref. 05.05.B, 1999, AIPCR/PIARC, La Défense, France, ISBN 2-84060-064-1

In September 1999, acknowledging road tunnels safety as a major issue, the Conference of Western European Road Directors (WERD) officially requested Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy to create an informal group (the so-called Alpine Countries group) to evaluate a common approach to this problem. On 14 September 2000, WERD approved the measures for increasing tunnel safety proposed by the Alpine Countries group.

The French Government immediately launched a safety check of all road tunnels longer than 1 km. Within three months, a national evaluation committee examined 40 tunnels. One year later, in August 2000, a new requirement on road tunnels safety [3] was approved. Similar steps were taken in Germany [4] and in Austria.

[3] Circulaire du 20 août 2000 relative aux tunnels routiers.

[4] Workshop on the safety of road and railway tunnels, November 1999, "Brandschutz in Verkehrstunneln", FE 82.166/199/B3 der Bundesanstalt für Strassenwesen, Schlussbericht Dezember 2000, BMVBW, Bonn.

The European Commission held a meeting of experts in September 1999. At that meeting it was suggested that the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN-ECE) should be considered as a potential harmonisation forum, in particular within its Working Party on Road Safety (WP1), which deals with road infrastructure. The Commission also included safety in tunnels in its 5th framework research programme. Research projects on durable and reliable tunnel structures (DARTS), the development of decision-support expert system for crisis management in tunnels (SIRTAKI), as well as thematic network on Fires in Tunnels (FIT and SAFE-T) have been funded. Other proposals, relating notably to prevention and information techniques on vehicles or in tunnels are on course.

In Switzerland, the Federal Roads Authority (FEDRO) set up a task force group [5] in April 1999. The task force studied an extensive range of aspects concerning safety in all tunnels over 600 m in the Swiss highway network. Some short-term measures to increase safety were immediately implemented while others will be put into effect over time.

[5] ASTRA Tunnel Task Force Report Schlußbericht vom 23. Mai 2000, Bundesamt für Straßen, Bern, Schweiz.

Railway tunnels also raise safety problems. Moreover, the construction of very long railway tunnels is planned in the EU for the coming decades, e.g. the Lyon-Turin base tunnel (52 km) and the Brenner base tunnel (55 km). Safety requirements for railway tunnels will be addressed in technical specifications, to be adopted in the context of the railway interoperability directives.

2 Objective of the proposal

The main causes of road accidents are incorrect behaviour of road users, inadequate installations on the road network, vehicles with technical defects and other faults (e.g. defective electrical systems and brakes, overheated engines, etc.) and problems with loads (e.g. unstable loads, chemical reactions).

Structural, technical and organisational road safety measures need to be taken in order to prevent incidents and keep their impact to a minimum. All safety measures have to correspond to the latest state of the art and have to apply to all factors concerned, i.e. road users, emergency services, infrastructure and vehicles.

The following objectives have been set for reaching the optimal level of safety in road tunnels:

* Primary objective: prevention (to prevent critical events that endanger human life, the environment and tunnel installations).

* Secondary objective : reduction of possible consequences (concerning events such as accidents and fires) by providing the ideal prerequisites for

- enabling people involved in the incident to rescue themselves;

- allowing immediate intervention of road users to prevent greater damage;

- ensuring efficient action by emergency services;

- protecting the environment;

- limiting material damage.

In the event of an incident or accident, the first ten to fifteen minutes are crucial when it comes to people saving themselves and limiting damage. The prevention of critical events is therefore the number-one priority, which means that the most important measures to be taken have to be of a preventive nature.

3 Content of the proposal

A. Scope

The requirements of the Directive apply to tunnels longer than 500 m in the Trans-European Road Network. [6] Users can usually escape from tunnels under 500 m on their own, in approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Within this time, hot smoke emitted by the fire is naturally stratified, which makes escape possible. Tunnels shorter than 500 m do not generally need to be equipped with mechanical ventilation systems.

[6] Decision 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European network, OJ L 228, 9 September 1996

B. Organisational requirements

Considering that the diversity of organisations involved in managing, operating, maintaining, repairing and upgrading tunnels increases the risk of accidents, the Commission proposes to harmonise the organisation of safety at national level and to clarify the different roles and responsibilities. In particular, the Commission proposes that each Member State should appoint an Administrative Authority seconded by an Inspection Body. In most cases, Member States will have the possibility of appointing existing administrative services as Administrative Authorities for the purposes of the present Directive. Responsibility for safety in each tunnel will lie with the Tunnel Manager and the responsibility for control with the appointed Safety Officer. The main administrative and organisational provisions introduced by the present Directive are set out in Article 4, 5, 6 and 7 and Annex II.

C. Technical requirements

The level of safety in tunnels is influenced by a variety of factors which can be put under the following four main headings:

* Infrastructure

* Operation

* Vehicles

* Road users

Requirements aimed at reinforcing safety in road tunnels will be established for each group. Technical specifications are stipulated in Article 3 and Annexes I and III. Annex I is based on existing harmonisation efforts at international level, with the exception of the tunnel classification, which is introduced for the purposes of this Directive.

This classification, which leads to five levels of equipment, is based on two parameters, the traffic volume and the tunnel length. No equivalence factor has been adopted for heavy goods vehicles above 3,5 t in the determination of traffic volumes and the thresholds between classes have been established with an assumption of a 15% annual average daily traffic volume for heavy goods vehicles, a normal lane width of 3,50 m and a maximum gradient of less or equal than 3%.

Annex III, which contains harmonised requirements on road signs, is based on the UN/ECE recommendations on road tunnel safety and on the Vienna Convention on road signing, neither of which is binding in the European Union. As recent accidents, notably the fire in the Gotthard tunnel in 2001, show that self-rescuing offers the highest potential for saving lives in the case of an accident in a tunnel, the introduction of clear and self-explanatory signs in sufficient numbers indicating the safety equipment in each tunnel is an important measure that can be implemented at relatively low cost.

C 1. Infrastructure

Due to the large number of tunnels and interdependencies of the components relevant for safety, new measures need to be carefully co-ordinated. This applies especially to components which have been constructed on the basis of previous standards and need to be transformed to meet the requirement of this Directive.

Road administrations generally specify safety requirements applicable for all highway tunnels, thus attaining the same degree of safety throughout the network. However, a number of national guidelines or regulations already exist, while others are being revised or, in some cases, have yet to be established or completed. These national guidelines or regulations need to be revised and co-ordinated at European level.

Annex I contains the main requirements for infrastructure, which encompass all structural components, ventilation and other electromechanical equipment. In addition, Annex III contains a description of, and requirements for, the positioning of obligatory road signs, panels and pictograms relating to safety.

Twin-tube tunnels offer much higher safety potential in the event of a fire. The Commission proposes thus that single-tube tunnels should only be built if a long-term forecast shows that traffic will remain at a reasonable level (lower than 50% of the saturation level).

C 2. OPERATION

The main tasks for the Tunnel Manager are as follows:

* to secure safety for users and operators both in normal status (prevention) and in the event of an incident

* to monitor the efficient performance of all installations (including ventilation, lighting, etc.) during normal operation and adjust them as required in the event of an incident

* to properly maintain all structural and electromechanical installations.

In the event of an incident, the Tunnel Manager has to work closely together with the emergency services. Emergency services must at least be consulted when defining the following tasks:

* operation in emergency cases

* emergency services

* emergency response plans

C 3. Vehicles

All heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches entering tunnels should be equipped with a fire extinguisher, since it is normally easier to put out a fire if it is tackled as soon as it starts. The proposal contain a general obligation but the Commission will envisage more detailed requirements in a more general and appropriate context for all motor vehicles with a maximum permissible mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

Heavy goods vehicles are equipped with fuel tanks with an average capacity of 700 litres. However, there is no limit in the motor vehicle technical legislation on the capacity of fuel tanks in heavy-duty vehicles, and truck hauliers frequently use additional tanks without any additional safety control to increase the capacity up to 1500 litres. For these heavy-duty vehicles, this proposal requires that any additional tanks must be empty when passing through tunnels. Corresponding provisions are proposed in paragraph 3 of Annex I. In parallel, the safety problem posed by the high tank capacity that can be mounted on heavy vehicles will be raised in the regulation body responsible for the legislation applicable to motor vehicles.

Heavy goods vehicles carrying dangerous goods or goods of calorific values greater than 30 MW are also especially critical and should be equipped with adequate extinguishing systems. Furthermore, vehicle manufacturers are developing technical solutions to reduce the risk of fire for various functions, e.g. engines, turbochargers and brakes. Where appropriate, the Commission will consider adapting the relevant requirements to technical progress.

C 4. Road users

In-depth analyses of incidents on roads show that an accident is the consequence of one or more faults in a complex system involving drivers, vehicles, the road and its surroundings.

This proposal does not primarily address questions of human behaviour. However, it should be borne in mind that the principal factor in road accidents is human error. Thus, efforts to increase the level of road safety have to aim primarily at preventing human error. The second step will have to ensure that errors made by drivers do not have serious consequences.

There are various ways of having a direct or indirect influence on the way people act. This proposal calls for better information for road users on tunnel safety, e.g. through information campaigns at national level and improved communication between the Tunnel Manager and road users inside a tunnel.

4 Number and location of tunnels falling within the scope of this proposal

This Directive contains provisions applicable to tunnels in operation, tunnels under construction and tunnels at the design stage.

Several sources have been used to set up an inventory of both existing and future TEN road tunnels.

The UN-ECE has set up an inventory of road tunnels longer than 1000 m. This inventory includes 370 tunnels with a total length of 900 km, 182 of which are located in the Trans-European Road Network, with a total length of 446 km.

A large number of EU road tunnels are currently at the construction or planning stage and have also been included in the inventory. UN-ECE and other sources have been used to identify tunnels scheduled to open in the future. As a result, 64 tunnels with a total length of 172 km have been identified.

Greece is expected to add the largest number of TEN tunnels longer than 1000 m: 16 new tunnels with a total length of 36 km, nearly all on the Egnatia Motorway. Italy will add 13 tunnels longer than 1000 m and Germany 12.

Tunnels between 500 m to 1000 m in length were not covered by the UN-ECE database, and so were identified primarily on the basis of Member States' statistics and other sources. A similar process was used to identify new TEN tunnels of this length.

A total of 216 existing TEN road tunnels of 500 m to 1000 m length were identified, 70% of which are located in Italy. The total length of these tunnels is 151 km. An additional 50 TEN road tunnels of 500 m to 1000 m, with a total length of 39 km, are expected to open within the next five years.

At present, the density of tunnels in Italy and Austria exceeds by far the density of tunnels in the European Union as a whole.

>TABLE POSITION>

Table: TEN road tunnel inventory

In addition, Norway is the only EEA country with tunnels over 500 m length in the major road network, with 130 tunnels of a total length of 200 km.

Only three candidate countries have tunnels longer than 500 m. In the TINA network, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Slovakia have 4, 5 and 1 tunnels respectively in this category, with a total length of 15 km.

5 Justification for an action at Community level

This proposal is based on Article 71 of the Treaty establishing the European Communities and applies to long tunnels located in the Trans-European Road Network, which are essential for long distance transport inside the European Union.

In all Member States with the exception of Finland and Ireland, there are tunnels which fall within the scope of the Directive. They have been built to specifications that with time have become outdated; either their equipment no longer corresponds to the state of the art or traffic conditions have substantially changed since their initial opening. In general, there are no legal mechanisms at national level to oblige tunnel managers to improve safety once the tunnels are put into service.

It is clear that the risk of serious fires in tunnels has significantly increased in recent years. Insufficient co-ordination has been identified as a contributory factor to accidents in trans-boundary tunnels. Moreover, recent serious accidents show that non-native users are at greater risk of becoming a victim in an accident, due to the lack of harmonisation of safety information, communication and equipment.

This Directive will improve the protection of road users and vital infrastructure. Any absence of action is deemed to be detrimental, since accidents in tunnels have proven to be extremely costly in terms of human lives, increased congestion, pollution, risks and reparation.

6 Appraisal of the proposal

To assess the different options for the purposes of implementing the measures envisaged, the Commission commissioned the ICF Consulting Ltd company to carry out a cost/benefit study. The first results, which were available in May 2002, were presented and discussed, alongside the requirements themselves, with national experts on 21 May and 12 September 2002. While they accept the general lines of the proposed requirements, the experts made various technical comments. These were taken into account where appropriate in the preparation of the final proposal.

A. Cost of the measures

Improvement costs include three components: refurbishment and equipment, operational costs, and costs of traffic delay caused by the refurbishment. Costs for refurbishing road tunnels in accordance with the full set of requirements of Annex I can be very high, because tunnels are the most expensive road infrastructure. For this reason, the Directive allows Member States to implement less costly measures under certain conditions where they achieve a sufficient safety level. For this purpose, the classification system introduced in Annex I differentiates requirements according to traffic volumes and length, and a clause in the proposal allows Member States to accept alternative risk reduction measures when refurbishment costs are excessive in relation to the costs of a new tunnel. However, these results clearly demonstrate the need to prioritise tunnel safety investments, starting with the tunnels with the highest traffic volume and the greatest risk of accidents.

The cost of structural work may be reduced by a factor of up to five for tunnels that benefit from a derogation. The total cost for the proposal is in the range of 2.6 billion Euro to 6.3 billion Euro. The latter figure assumes that all existing tunnels will be adapted to meet the provisions of new tunnels. The lower figure is an estimate where certain modifications in tunnel structure are replaced by alternative measures, such as traffic restrictions.

Refurbishment and equipment account for the majority of costs, though traffic delay is estimated to account for one quarter of the costs.

The costs incurred by the proposed Directive will be borne by the Member States.

B. Expected benefits

The expected benefits of the measures include:

- The benefit of accidents avoided or contained. Direct costs of recent tunnel fires, including repair costs, exceed by far the one million Euro average direct cost of a fatal road accident indicated in the Communication on road safety in 1997. [7] Direct costs of tunnel accidents have been evaluated on the basis of a review of the recent literature and the collection of limited data on recent accidents. They are estimated at 210 million Euro per year.

[7] Promoting road safety in the European Union - Programme for the period 1997-2001 (COM (97) 131 final, 9 April 1997).

- Indirect costs on the economy resulting from the closure of a tunnel should also be taken into account. Following the Mont Blanc accident and its subsequent closure, studies calculated these costs to be within a range of 300 to 450 million Euro per year for Italy alone [8].

[8] Valutazione degli effetti economici sui sistemi regionali e nazionali della chiusura del traforo del Monte Bianco, Prometeia, May 1999.

- Significant potential indirect benefits of this Directive should also be considered. Tunnel closure as a consequence of an accident is prejudicial not only to the regional economy but also to the national and in some cases even to the whole European economy. It increases transport costs, reduces the competitiveness of the areas affected by the closure and has an adverse effect on road safety, as it tends to lengthen journeys, thus increasing risk exposure for all road users for a potentially long period. [9]

[9] Rehabilitation work took almost three years before the Mont Blanc tunnel was reopened.

7. Conclusion

The "White Paper on European Transport Policy for 2010: Time to Decide" presents a two-phase approach to the issue of tunnel safety.

In the short to medium term, the proposed legislation will set minimum standards to rapidly guarantee a high level of safety for users of road tunnels. As announced, the proposal encompasses the main technical and operational safety-related aspects: technical equipment (e.g. ventilation and extraction devices, shelters, escape galleries), traffic rules (e.g. traffic restrictions, alternating traffic), training of operating staff to cope with a major accident, rescue organisation, information to users on "how to react in the event of a fire" and means of communication to facilitate user evacuation in the event of a fire.

The recent tunnel fires raise the question, finally, of the sustainability of transport, particularly in mountainous areas. In this respect, a coherent approach to developing medium and long-term solutions, including a shift in transport modes, is one of the priorities set out in the White Paper on Transport Policy. These measures will largely help to reduce the risk of accidents in tunnels, in line with the attached proposal.

The Commission therefore proposes that the European Parliament and the Council adopt this Directive on minimum safety requirements for road tunnels in the Trans-European Road Network.

In the meantime, the Commission is setting up a working group of national experts from the Member States and competent organisations with the following objectives:

- to gather the data needed to prepare a harmonised procedure for risk analysis;

- to prepare further improvements to the minimum safety provisions for construction, operation, maintenance, repair, upgrading, rehabilitation and refurbishment of tunnels of various types and lengths, and to improve traffic conditions in these tunnels, e.g. signs, restrictions on vehicles and dangerous goods, driver training;

- to collect information on safety provisions in tunnels, in particular on new traffic management techniques.

Once the Member States have designated their Administrative Authorities, the Commission will ensure that they are represented in the Group of Experts, which will also act as liaison between Member States. The Commission will also invite representatives from competent organisations at international level and from third countries, notably Switzerland and Norway, in order to take account of their opinions and experience on specific issues and ensure good co-operation.

2002/0309 (COD)

Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the Trans-European Road Network

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 71(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission, [10]

[10] OJ , , p. .

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee, [11]

[11] OJ , , p. .

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions, [12]

[12] OJ , , p. .

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty, [13]

[13] OJ , , p. .

Whereas:

(1) In its White Paper on "European transport policy for 2010: time to decide" [14] the Commission announces that it would propose minimum safety requirements for tunnels belonging to the Trans-European Road Network.

[14] Commission White Paper of 12 September 2001: "European transport policy for 2010: time to decide", COM(2001) 370.

(2) The transport system, notably the Trans-European Transport Network defined in Decision No 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and the Council, of 23 July on Community guidelines for the development of the Trans-European transport Network [15], is of paramount importance in supporting European integration and ensuring a high level of well-being among Europe's citizens. The European Community has the responsibility to guarantee a high, uniform and constant level of security, service and comfort on the Trans-European Road Network.

[15] OJ L 228 of 9.9.1996, p. 1. Decision as amended by Decision No 1346/2001/EC (OJ L185, 6.7.2001, p. 1)

(3) Long tunnels of over 500 m in length are important structures which facilitate communication between large areas of Europe and play a decisive role in the functioning and development of regional economies.

(4) The European Council on several occasions, and notably on 14 and 15 December 2001 in Laeken underlined the urgency to take measures in order to improve tunnel safety.

(5) On 30 November 2001, the Transport Ministers of Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland met in Zurich and adopted a Common Declaration recommending the alignment of national legislation on the most recent harmonised requirements for improving safety in long tunnels.

(6) Since the objectives of the proposed action, namely the achievement of a uniform, constant and high level of protection for all European citizens in road tunnels cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the level of harmonisation required, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(7) Recent accidents in tunnels emphasise their importance in human, economic and cultural terms.

(8) Some tunnels in Europe, put into operation a long time ago, were designed at a time when the technical possibilities and the conditions of transport were very different from today's. There are thus disparate safety levels and these need to be improved.

(9) Safety in tunnels requires a number of measures relating, among others, to the geometry of the tunnel and its design, safety equipment, including road signs, traffic management, training of the emergency services, incident management, information to users on how best to behave in tunnels, and better communication between the authorities in charge and emergency services such as the police, fire-brigades and rescue teams.

(10) In order to implement a balanced approach and due to the high cost of the measures, minimum safety equipment should be set taking into account the type and the expected traffic volume of each tunnel. To this respect, progressive equipment classes should be defined.

(11) International bodies such as the World Road Association and the Economic Commission for Europe have for a long time been making invaluable recommendations to help improve and harmonise safety equipment and traffic rules in road tunnels. However, as these recommendations are not binding, their full potential can only be maximised if the requirements they identify are made obligatory through legislation.

(12) Maintaining a high safety level requires proper maintenance of the safety facilities in tunnels. An exchange of information on modern safety techniques and accident/incident data between the Member States should be systematically organised.

(13) In order to ensure that the requirements of this Directive are properly applied by the Tunnel Managers, Member States should designate one or more authorities at national, regional or local level with general responsibility for tunnel safety.

(14) A flexible and progressive timescale is needed for implementation of this Directive. This will allow for completion of the most urgent works without creating major disturbances in the transport system or bottlenecks in public works in the Member States.

(15) The cost of refurbishing existing tunnels varies considerably from one Member State to another, particularly for geographical reasons, and Member States should be allowed to spread any refurbishment works needed to meet the requirements of this Directive where the density of tunnels on their territories is well in excess of the European average.

(16) For tunnels already in operation or tunnels which have not been opened to the public within 18 months following the entry into force of this Directive, Member States should be allowed to accept the adoption of risk reduction measures as an alternative to the requirements of the Directive, where the tunnel does not allow for structural solutions to be implemented at reasonable cost.

(17) Further technical progress is still necessary to improve tunnel safety. A procedure should be introduced to allow the Commission to adapt the requirements of this Directive to technical progress. That procedure should also be used to adopt a harmonised risk analysis method.

(18) The measures necessary for the implementation of this Directive should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission [16].

[16] OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.

(19) Member States should submit a report to the Commission on the measures they plan to adopt to meet the requirements of this Directive, with a view to synchronising works at Community level in order to reduce traffic disturbances,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

(1) This Directive establishes preventive measures and measures that provide a minimum level of safety in the event of accidents in tunnels in the Trans-European Road Network.

(2) It shall apply to all tunnels on the Trans-European Road Network with lengths of over 500 m, whether they are in operation, under construction or at the design stage.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) "Trans-European Road Network" means the road network identified in Section 2 of Annex I to Decision 1692/96/EC and illustrated by maps. The maps relate to the corresponding sections mentioned in the enacting terms and/or Annex II to that Decision.

(2) "Traffic volume" means the average daily transit traffic through a tunnel in both directions, as calculated at the beginning of each year over a rolling three-year period. For the purposes of determining the traffic volume, each motor vehicle shall be counted as one unit.

(3) "Equipment class" means the minimum safety equipment required for each tunnel; there are five safety classes, described in Annex I according to tunnel type, traffic volume and the length of the tunnel.

(4) "Emergency services" means all local services, whether public or private, or part of the tunnel staff, which intervene in the event of an accident, including police services, fire brigades and rescue teams.

Article 3

Safety Measures

(1) Member States shall ensure that tunnels in their territory meet the minimum safety requirements laid down in Annex I.

(2) Where certain structural requirements laid down in Annex I can only be satisfied through technical solutions which are substantially more expensive than for equivalent new tunnels, Member States may accept the implementation of risk reduction measures as an alternative to those requirements. The efficiency of these measures shall be demonstrated through a risk analysis in conformity with the provisions of Article 13. Member States shall inform the Commission of the risk reduction measures accepted as an alternative and provide justification therefor. This paragraph shall not apply in respect of tunnels at the design stage as defined in Article 7.

(3) Member States may specify stricter requirements, provided they do not contravene the requirements of this Directive.

Article 4

Administrative authority

(1) Member States shall designate (an) Administrative Authority(ies), hereinafter referred as "the Administrative Authority", which shall have general responsibility for all aspects of the safety of a tunnel, in particular compliance with the provisions of this Directive, and be the contact point for the Commission and the other Member States.

(2) The Administrative Authority may be set up at national, regional or local level.

(3) Tunnels located on the territory of a single Member State shall fall under the responsibility of a single Administrative Authority. For tunnels located on the territory of two Member States, each Member State may designate an Administrative Authority.

(4) The Administrative Authority shall take the necessary measures to ensure compliance with this Directive of all tunnels for which it is responsible.

(5) Prior authorisation of the Administrative Authority is required for the commissioning a new tunnel or re-building of a tunnel.

(6) The Administrative Authority shall have power to suspend or restrict the operation of a tunnel if safety conditions are not met. It shall specify the conditions under which normal traffic conditions may be re-established. Where bodies designated as Administrative Authorities existed prior to this designation, those Administrative Authorities may continue to exercise their previous responsibilities provided they comply with this Directive.

Article 5

Inspection Body

Member States shall appoint one or more technical Inspection Bodies to carry out evaluations, tests or inspections on behalf of the Administrative Authority. The Administrative Authority itself may perform this function. Inspection Bodies shall meet the harmonised standards on the operation of conformity assessment bodies (EN 45000). An organisation involved in tunnel management cannot be accredited as an Inspection Body.

Article 6

Tunnel manager

(1) For each tunnel, a single Tunnel Manager shall be recognised by the Administrative Authority. The Tunnel Manager is the public or private body responsible for operation of the tunnel. For tunnels located on the territory of two Member States, the two Administrative Authorities shall recognise one and the same Tunnel Manager.

(2) Any significant incident or accident occurring in a tunnel shall be the subject of an explanatory report prepared by the Tunnel Manager. This report shall be forwarded to the Safety Officer provided for in Article 7 and to the emergency services within a maximum period of one month.

(3) Where an investigation report is drawn up analysing the circumstances of the incident or accident or the conclusions that can be drawn from it, the Tunnel Manager shall forward this report to the Safety Officer and the emergency services no later than one month after he receives it himself.

Article 7

Safety officer

(1) For each tunnel, the Tunnel Manager shall nominate one Safety Officer who shall supervise all preventive and safeguards measures to ensure the safety of users and operation staff. The Safety Officer may be a member of the tunnel staff or the emergency services, shall be independent in all road tunnel safety-related issues and shall not be subject to instructions from an employer in respect of those issues. A Safety Officer may be responsible for several tunnels in a region.

(2) The Safety Officer shall perform the following tasks/functions:

(a) plan the organisation of emergency services and operational schemes;

(b) plan, implement and evaluate emergency operations;

(c) take part in the definition of safety schemes and the specification of infrastructure installations in respect of both new tunnels and modifications to existing tunnels;

(d) train operational staff and emergency services and organise drills at regular intervals;

(e) take part in the approval of the structure and installation of tunnels;

(f) supervise maintenance and repairs of tunnel installations and equipment.

Article 8

Notification of the Administrative Authority and the Inspection Body

The Member States shall notify the Commission of the names and addresses of the Administrative Authority and the Inspection Body within 18 months of entry into force of this Directive. They shall notify within three months any subsequent changes to this information when they occur. The Commission may ask Member States to provide further information on these organisations where appropriate.

Article 9

Tunnels at the design stage

(1) Any tunnel whose design has not been approved by the Administrative Authority within 18 months following the entry into force of this Directive shall be subject to the requirements of this Directive.

(2) The tunnel shall be commissioned in accordance with the procedure laid down in Annex II.

Article 10

Tunnels already built but not yet open

(1) In the case of tunnels which have not been opened to public traffic within 18 months following the entry into force of this Directive, the Administrative Authority shall evaluate their compliance with the requirements of this Directive in co-operation with the Inspection Body.

(2) Where the Administrative Authority finds that a tunnel does not comply with the provisions of this Directive, it shall notify the Tunnel Manager and the Safety Officer that the tunnel has to be refurbished.

(3) The tunnel shall then be commissioned in accordance with the procedure laid down in Annex II.

Article 11

Tunnels already in operation

(1) In the case of tunnels which have been open to public traffic no longer than 18 months following the entry into force of this Directive, the Safety Officer shall, within one other year, assess the compliance of the tunnel with the requirements of Annex I and, where necessary, propose a plan to the Tunnel Manager to adapt the tunnel to the requirements of this Directive.

(2) The Tunnel Manager shall send a copy of the proposed plan to the Administrative Authority and the Inspection Body along with the remedial measures he intends to put in place.

(3) The Administrative Authority shall give its approval to the remedial measures or propose modifications.

(4) Thereafter, the tunnel shall be re-commissioned in accordance with the procedure laid down in Annex II.

(5) Member States shall submit a report to the Commission on how they plan to meet the requirements of this Directive, on planned measures, and, where appropriate, on the consequences of opening or closing the main access roads to the tunnels within three years following the entry into force of this Directive. In order to minimise disturbances to traffic at European level, the Commission may comment on the timetable of the work intended to ensure that tunnels comply with the requirements of this Directive.

(6) The refurbishment of tunnels shall be carried out according to a schedule, which shall not exceed ten years. Within three years following the entry into force of the Directive, at least 10% of all tunnels in each Member State in operation shall comply with the requirements of this Directive, 50% of all tunnels in operation within 6 years and 100% within 10 years.

(7) Where the total bore length of existing tunnels divided by the total length of the part of the Trans-European Road Network located on their territories exceeds the European average, Members States may extend the periods stipulated in the above paragraph by 50%.

Article 12

Periodic inspections

(1) The Inspection Body shall conduct regular inspections to ensure that all tunnels falling within the scope of this Directive comply with its provisions. It shall inspect all these tunnels for the first time within a period of five years from the date of the entry into force of this Directive.

(2) The period between two consecutive inspections of a given tunnel shall not exceed five years.

(3) Where, following the report of the Inspection Body, the Administrative Authority finds that a tunnel does not comply with the provisions of this Directive, it shall notify the Tunnel Manager and the Safety Officer that the tunnel has to be refurbished.

(4) After refurbishing, the tunnel shall be re-commissioned in accordance the procedure laid down in Annex II.

Article 13

Risk analysis

(1) Risk analyses shall be carried out by an independent body, at the request and under the responsibility of the Administrative Authority. A risk analysis is an analysis of risk for a given tunnel, taking into account all design factors and traffic conditions that affect safety, notably traffic characteristics, tunnel length, type of traffic and tunnel geometry, as well as the forecast number of heavy goods vehicles per day.

(2) Member States shall ensure that a detailed and well-defined methodology, corresponding to the best available practices, is used and shall inform the Commission and the other Member States of the methodology applied.

(3) Five years after the date of entry into force of this Directive, the Commission shall establish a report on the practice applied in the Members States. Where necessary, it shall make proposals for the adoption of a common harmonised risk analysis methodology in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 16(2).

Article 14

Derogation for innovative techniques

(1) In order to allow the installation of innovative safety equipment or the use of innovative safety procedures, which provide a better protection level than current technologies, as prescribed in this Directive, an Administrative Authority may grant a derogation from the requirements of the Directive on the basis of a duly documented request from the Tunnel Manager.

(2) If the Administrative Authority intends to grant the derogation, the Member State shall first submit a derogation application to the Commission containing the initial request and the opinion of the Inspection Body.

(3) The Commission shall give a reply in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 16(2). Where the decision is negative, the Administrative Authority shall not grant the derogation.

Article 15

Adaptation to technical progress

The Commission shall adapt the Annexes to this Directive to technical progress, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 16(2).

Article 16

Committee procedure

(1) The Commission shall be assisted in these tasks by a Committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the Commission.

(2) Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

(3) The period laid down in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be three months.

(4) The Committee shall adopt its rules of procedure.

Article 17

Transposition

(1) Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by [18 months after the date of its publication in the Official Journal]. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.

(2) The provisions adopted by the Member States shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made.

Article 18

Entry into force

This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Article 19

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at Brussels,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

LEGISLATIVE FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Policy area(s): Transport policy

Activit(y/ies): Legislation

Title of action: management of a new directive of the european parliament and of the council on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the trans-european network

1. BUDGET LINE(S) + HEADING(S)

A-07031

2. OVERALL FIGURES

2.1. Total allocation for action (Part B): Not Relevant

2.2. Period of application:

(start and expiry years)

2.3. Overall multiannual estimate of expenditure:

(a) Schedule of commitment appropriations/payment appropriations (financial intervention) (see point 6.1.1)

EUR million (to three decimal places)

>TABLE POSITION>

(b) Technical and administrative assistance and support expenditure(see point 6.1.2)

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

(c) Overall financial impact of human resources and other administrative expenditure (see points 7.2 and 7.3)

>TABLE POSITION>

>TABLE POSITION>

2.4. Compatibility with financial programming and financial perspective

[X] Proposal is compatible with existing financial programming.

Proposal will entail reprogramming of the relevant heading in the financial perspective.

Proposal may require application of the provisions of the Interinstitutional Agreement.

2.5. Financial impact on revenue: [17]

[17] For further information, see separate explanatory note.

[X] Proposal has no financial implications (involves technical aspects regarding implementation of a measure)

(EUR million to one decimal place)

>TABLE POSITION>

3. BUDGET CHARACTERISTICS

>TABLE POSITION>

4. LEGAL BASIS

Article 71(1) of the Treaty

5. DESCRIPTION AND GROUNDS

5.1. Need for Community intervention [18]

[18] For further information, see separate explanatory note.

5.1.1. Objectives pursued

To manage a new Directive which set harmonised minimum safety standards for all road tunnels above 500 m located on the Trans-Europoean Network.

5.1.2. Measures taken in connection with ex ante evaluation

Not relevant

5.1.3. Measures taken following ex post evaluation

Not relevant

5.2. Action envisaged and budget intervention arrangements

To organise three expert and committee meetings per year in average.

These tasks will require one third of the working time of a grade A official + supporting resources : estimated at 0.04 MEUR per year.

5.3. Methods of implementation

(Specify the methods to be used to implement the planned actions: direct management by the Commission using either regular or outside staff or by externalisation. In the latter case, give details of the arrangements envisaged for this externalisation (TAO, Agencies, Offices, decentralised executive units, management shared with Member States - national, regional and local authorities.)

Indicate the effect of the externalisation model chosen on the financial intervention, management and support resources and on human resources (seconded officials, etc.).)

6. FINANCIAL IMPACT

6.1. Total financial impact on Part B - (over the entire programming period)

Not relevant

6.1.1. Financial intervention

Commitments (in EUR million to three decimal places)

>TABLE POSITION>

6.2. Calculation of costs by measure envisaged in Part B (over the entire programming period) [19]

[19] For further information, see separate explanatory note.

Not relevant

Commitments (in EUR million to three decimal places)

>TABLE POSITION>

7. IMPACT ON STAFF AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURE

7.1. Impact on human resources

>TABLE POSITION>

7.2. Overall financial impact of human resources

>TABLE POSITION>

The amounts are total expenditure for twelve months.

7.3. Other administrative expenditure deriving from the action

>TABLE POSITION>

The amounts are total expenditure for twelve months.

1 Specify the type of committee and the group to which it belongs. Regulatory committee

I. Annual total (7.2 + 7.3)

II. Duration of action

III. Total cost of action (I x II) // 0.106380EUR

10years

1.0638MEUR

The needs for human and administrative shall be covered within the allocation granted to the managing DG in the framework of the annual allocation procedure.

8. FOLLOW-UP AND EVALUATION

8.1. Follow-up arrangements

Yes

8.2. Arrangements and schedule for the planned evaluation

Report by the Commission 5 years after the adoption of the Directive ; possible revision of the Directive 5 years after the adoption.

9. ANTI-FRAUD MEASURES

Not relevant

Annex I

Measures

1. Infrastructure measures

1.1 Tunnel Classification

1.1.1 For single and twin-tube tunnels, the tunnel class shall depend on traffic volume and length, as in the following table:

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

1.1.2 Where the number of heavy goods vehicles over 3,5 t exceeds 15 % of the annual average daily traffic volume, or the lane width is less than 3,5 m, or the maximum gradient in the tunnel is more than 3%, a risk analysis shall be carried out to establish whether a higher equipment class would be more appropriate.

1.2 Number of tubes

1.2.1 Where, for tunnels at the design stage, a 15-year forecast shows that the traffic volume will exceed 9 000 vehicles per day and per lane, a twin-tube tunnel with unidirectional traffic shall be in place at the time when this value will be exceeded.

1.2.2 The same number of lanes as for normal traffic shall, if possible, be maintained inside and outside the tunnel.

1.3 Escape routes

1.3.1 The Administrative Authority shall specify the necessary escape routes.

1.3.2 In tunnels with bi-directional traffic, the construction of special escape routes or safety galleries is mandatory for tunnels of classes I and II.

1.4 Ventilation

1.4.1 For tunnels with bi-directional traffic and transverse and/or semi-transverse ventilation, the following minimum measures shall be taken as regards ventilation:

- Air and smoke extraction dampers shall be installed which can be operated separately.

- The longitudinal air and smoke velocity shall be controlled constantly and the automatic steering process of the ventilation system (dampers, fans, etc.) adjusted accordingly.

- Improved fire-detection systems, either continuously installed or using at least two different types of sensors at regular intervals, shall be built in.

1.4.2 Longitudinal ventilation shall be used in tunnels with bi-directional traffic only where ordinary traffic conditions allow vehicles to drive out of the tunnel in the direction of the smoke.

1.4.3 Where it is not possible to drive out of the tunnel because of congestion in twin-tube tunnels with unidirectional traffic, transverse and/or semi-transverse ventilation shall be used.

1.5 Emergency exits

1.5.1 Should the smoke extension and spreading velocity under local conditions show that the above-mentioned provisions are insufficient to ensure the safety of road users, additional measures shall be taken, such as the construction of short perpendicular escape galleries to the open or the construction of a parallel safety gallery with cross connections for self-rescue at intervals of less than 500 m.

1.5.2 Where there are plans for a tunnel to have a second tube at a later date, an exploration or pilot gallery can be used as an escape route until the second tube is completed.

1.5.3 Shelters without an exit leading to escape routes to the open shall not be built.

1.5.4 In existing tunnels with bi-directional traffic, emergency exists shall be reassessed by the Safety Officer. A report proposing adaptations of escape routes and ventilation systems shall, where necessary, be transmitted to the Administrative Authority. The Administrative Authority may request additional adaptations.

1.6 Distance between lay-bys

The distance between lay-bys shall not exceed 1000 m. The Administrative Authority may require shorter distances between lay-bys where a risk analysis concludes that this is necessary.

1.7 Additional provisions for twin-tube tunnels

1.7.1 In the event of an incident in one of the tubes of a twin-tube tunnel, the other tube shall be used as an escape and rescue route.

1.7.2 Cross-connections in twin-tube tunnels which provide an escape and rescue route in the event of an accident in one tube shall be used.

1.7.3 Pedestrian cross-connections shall link the tubes at intervals of less than 500 m, depending on traffic, allowing people to escape on their own.

1.7.4 Every third cross-connection shall also be designed for the passage of emergency service vehicles.

1.7.7 Appropriate means, such as doors or overpressure, shall prevent the propagation of smoke or gases from one tube to the other.

1.7.8 Crossing of the central reserve (median strip) shall be made possible in front of each tunnel entrance. This measure will allow emergency services to gain immediate access to either tube.

1.8 Additional provision for tunnels with a gradient

As they can increase potential risks, longitudinal gradients above 5% shall not be permitted.

1.9 Additional provision for congested tunnels

In unidirectional tunnels with daily congestion, the requirements for ventilation for bi-directional tunnels shall be applied.

1.10 Additional provision for underwater tunnels

For underwater tunnels, a risk analysis must be carried out to determine whether partial or total restrictions for the transport of dangerous goods are needed.

1.11 Minimum equipment

1.11.1 Tunnels shall be equipped with the following:

- indication of escape routes by lighting at least every 100 m and by signs every 25 m, 1.1 m to 1.5 m above escape route level, and by lighting and signs above safety recesses and fire-fighting equipment;

- systematic installation of fire extinguishers in the tunnels at intervals of at least 150 m and at the entrances, and water supply for firemen at intervals of at least 150 m;

- radio broadcasting equipment in all tunnels with special channels for emergency services use. The Tunnel Manager and emergency services shall be able to interrupt radio broadcasting for emergency messages;

- video monitoring systems in tunnels longer than 1 000 m, including automatic incident detection;

- safe feeding of high-voltage and low-voltage cables (electricity, radio, etc.). Electrical, measurement and control circuits designed in such way that a local fault (due to a fire, for example) does not affect unimpaired circuits.

1.11.2 The minimum equipment for each tunnel class is laid down in the following table:

>TABLE POSITION>

1.12 Road signs

Specific signs shall be used to designate escape routes and safety facilities in tunnels. A list of signs, panels and pictograms for use in tunnels is given in Annex III.

1.13 Control rooms

The Administrative Authority shall decide whether it is necessary for some tunnels (e.g. high traffic volume and safety needs) to have a control room. Surveillance of several tunnels may be centralised into a single operational centre, e.g. with the transmission of video signals and operational data.

1.14 Drainage of flammable liquids shall be possible through well-designed slot gutters within the tunnel cross sections, where the transport of dangerous goods is permitted.

2. Measures concerning operations

2.1 Role of the Administrative Authority

At organisational level the Administrative Authority shall, for the purposes of co-ordinating and supervising accident/incident management in road tunnels:

- draw up requirements for the inspection of tunnels from the point of view of safety;

- supervise organisational and operational schemes (including emergency response plans) for the training and equipping of emergency services, in conjunction with Safety Officers;

- specify the duties of Safety Officers;

- supervise and implement the necessary risk reduction measures;

- close tunnels for the purposes of training emergency services and carrying out fire testing.

2.2 Role of the Safety Officers

All fires in tunnels shall be recorded and evaluated by Safety Officers and brought to the attention of the Administrative Authority in appropriate detail. Member States shall compile statistics on both accidents and fires in tunnels and on the frequency and causes of such accidents, and provide information on the actual role and effectiveness of safety facilities and measures.

2.3 Works in tunnels

2.3.1 Complete or partial closure of lanes due to construction or maintenance works planned in advance shall always begin and end outside the tunnel. The use of traffic lights inside tunnels shall be prohibited for such planned closures and used only in the event of accidents/incidents.

2.3.2 The closure of lanes shall be indicated before the road enters the tunnel. Variable message signs, traffic lights and mechanical barriers may be used for this purpose.

2.4 Accident management

2.4.1 In the event of a serious incident, the Tunnel Manager or the Safety Officer shall immediately close the tunnel (all tubes). This shall be done by simultaneous activation not only of the above-mentioned equipment before the portals, but also of variable message signs, traffic lights and mechanical barriers inside the tunnel, if available,, so that all the traffic can be stopped as soon as possible outside and inside the tunnel.

2.4.2 The access time for emergency services in the event of an incident in a tunnel shall be measured during periodic exercises. It must be less than 10 minutes after the alarm for all Class I tunnels. In major bi-directional tunnels with high traffic volumes it may be necessary after a risk analysis to station emergency services at the two extremities of the tunnel.

2.5 Activity of the control centre

2.5.1 For all tunnels, and particularly for tunnels starting and finishing in different Member States, a single control centre shall have full control at any given time.

2.5.2 In particular, distances between vehicles and the speed of vehicles in tunnels shall be subject to greater control in order to achieve a regular traffic flow and greater safety in tunnels.

2.5.3 Traffic shall be managed in such a way that after incident unaffected not congested vehicles can quickly leave the tunnel.

2.6 Tunnel closure

2.6.1 In the event of tunnel closure (long or short-term), Member States shall inform users of the best alternative itineraries, by mean of easily accessible information systems.

2.6.2 Such alternative itineraries shall form part of systematic contingency plans. They should aim to maintain traffic flow as far as possible and minimise secondary safety effects on the surrounding areas.

2.6.3 In the event of an incident in a twin-tube tunnel, traffic shall be stopped and diverted in both tubes so that the tube free of incident can be used as an escape and rescue route.

2.7 Transport of dangerous goods

2.7.1 Member States and their Administrative Authorities shall apply the following measures concerning access into tunnels of vehicles transporting dangerous goods:

- place new signs at tunnel entrances indicating which groups of dangerous goods are permitted/prohibited;

- perform a risk analysis in accordance with Article 13 before deciding on tunnel requirements regarding dangerous goods;

- consider operating measures designed to reduce the risks of transporting dangerous goods in tunnels, such as declaration before entering or escort, on a case by case basis; this may require the formation of convoys and accompanying vehicles for the transport of some types of particularly dangerous goods;

- improve traffic management for the transport of dangerous goods, e.g. with the introduction of automatic detection systems.

2.8 Overtaking in tunnels

In order to allow heavy goods vehicles to overtake in tunnels with more than one lane in each direction, Member States shall carry out a risk analysis.

2.9 Distance between vehicles

Road users shall maintain a minimum distance of 50 m for passenger cars and 100 m for heavy goods vehicles, at the maximum authorised speed, from the vehicle in front of them, under normal conditions and also in the event of a breakdown, congestion, an accident or a fire in a tunnel.

2.9.1 Half of the above distances at least shall be maintained in a tunnel when traffic stops.

3. Measures concerning vehicles in road tunnels

3.1 All heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches driving through road tunnels shall be equipped with fire extinguishers.

3.2 Where heavy goods vehicles are equipped with additional tanks, such as tanks mounted on the trailer or tanks not permanently connected to the engine supply, the Tunnel Manager will take care that such tanks are empty. This provision does not apply to portable jerrycans.

3.3 Member States shall conduct random controls in order to enforce these rules.

4. Measures designed to inform road users of the attitude to adopt

4.1 Information campaigns

4.1.1 Information campaigns regarding safety in tunnels shall be regularly organised by the Member States and implemented in conjunction with interested parties on the basis of the harmonised work of international organisations.

4.1.2 These information campaigns shall cover the correct behaviour of road users when approaching and driving through tunnels, especially in connection with vehicle breakdown, congestion, accidents and fires. Information on the safety equipment available and proper road user behaviour in tunnels shall be displayed in rest areas before tunnels and at tunnel entrances when the traffic is stopped (for example at tolls).

4.2 Communications

4.2.1 Tunnels shall be equipped to ensure continuity of the functioning of on-board vehicle communication equipment (i.e. radios, navigation and positioning systems, mobile phones).

4.2.2 When a user calls the emergency number 112 by mobile phone from a tunnel, the information shall be instantly available to the tunnel operator and the emergency services.

Annex II

Approval of the design, safety documentation, commissioning of a tunnel, modifications and periodic exercises

1. Approval of the design

* The provisions of this Directive shall be applied from the preliminary design stage onward.

* The Tunnel Manager shall consult the Safety Officer at the design stage of a structure. On receiving a positive opinion from the Safety Officer, the Tunnel Manager shall submit the design to the Administrative Authority for approval.

* The Administrative Authority may consult the Inspection Body.

* The design, as appropriate, shall be approved by the Administrative Authority, which shall inform the Tunnel Manager of its decision.

2. Safety documentation

* The Tunnel Manager shall at all times keep safety documentation for each tunnel. He shall provide a copy of the safety documentation to the Safety Officer.

* The safety documentation shall include the preventive and safeguard measures needed to ensure the safety of persons, taking into account the nature of the route, the configuration of the structure, its surroundings, the nature of the traffic and the scope for action by the external emergency services.

* The safety documentation for a tunnel at the design stage shall include:

- a description of the planned structure and access to it, together with the plans necessary for understanding its design and anticipated operating arrangements;

- a traffic forecast study specifying and justifying the conditions expected for the transport of hazardous goods, together with a comparative analysis of the hazards arising from different possible arrangements for performing this type of transport;

- a specific hazard investigation describing accidents of any kind which might occur during the operating stage and the nature and magnitude of their possible consequences; this investigation must specify and substantiate measures for reducing the likelihood of accidents and their consequences;

- an opinion on safety from an expert or organisation specialising in this field.

* For a tunnel which is under construction, the safety documentation shall also include any measures designed to ensure the safety of persons working at the construction site.

* The safety documentation for a tunnel which is in operation shall include:

- a description of the tunnel as built and the access to it, together with the plans necessary for an understanding of its design and operating arrangements;

- an analysis of existing traffic and foreseeable changes, including the conditions applicable to the movement of hazardous goods;

- a specific investigation into hazards, describing accidents of any kind which might arise in the course of operation and the nature and magnitude of any possible consequences; this investigation must specify and substantiate measures for reducing the likelihood of accidents and their consequences;

- a description of the organisation, human and material resources and instructions specified by the Tunnel Manager to ensure operation and maintenance of the tunnel;

- an action and safety plan drawn up jointly with the emergency services;

- a description of the system of permanent feedback of experience through which significant incidents and accidents can be recorded and analysed;

- a report and analysis on significant incidents and accidents;

- a list of the safety exercises carried out and an analysis of the lessons learned from them.

3. Commissioning

* The initial opening of a tunnel to public traffic shall be subject to authorisation by the Administrative Authority (commissioning) in accordance with the following procedure.

* This procedure also applies to the opening of a tunnel to public traffic after any major change in construction and operation or any substantial modification work on the tunnel which might significantly alter any of the constituent components of the safety documentation.

* For this purpose the Tunnel Manager shall compile complete safety documentation. This documentation shall include:

- a description of the tunnel as built and the access to it, together with the plans necessary for an understanding of its design and operating arrangements;

- an updated traffic forecast investigation;

- a specific investigation into hazards, describing accidents of any kind which might arise in the course of operation and the nature and magnitude of any possible consequences; this investigation must specify and substantiate measures for reducing the likelihood of accidents and their consequences;

- a description of the organisation, human and material resources and instructions specified by the Tunnel Manager to ensure operation and maintenance of the tunnel;

- an action and safety plan drawn up jointly with the emergency services;

- a description of the system of permanent feedback of experience through which significant incidents and accidents can be recorded and analysed;

- an analysis by an expert or an organisation specialising in road tunnel safety approving the measures included in this documentation as regards safety requirements.

* The Tunnel Manager shall transmit this safety documentation to the Safety Officer, who shall give his opinion on the opening of the tunnel to public traffic.

* On receiving a positive opinion from the Safety Officer, the Tunnel Manager shall forward this safety documentation to the Administrative Authority, which may decide to consult the Inspection Body. After receiving the comments of the Inspection Body, the Administrative Authority shall decide whether or not to authorise the opening of the tunnel to public traffic, or whether to do so with restrictive conditions, and shall notify this to the Tunnel Manager. A copy of this decision shall be forwarded to the emergency services.

4. Modifications

* The Tunnel Manager shall inform the Safety Officer of any change in construction and operation which might call into question any of the constituent components of the safety documentation. Furthermore, prior to any modification work on the tunnel, the Tunnel Manager shall provide the Safety Officer with descriptive documentation.

* The Safety Officer shall examine the consequences of the modification and in any event notify the Tunnel Manager of his conclusions. He shall send a copy to the emergency services.

* Where there is no agreement, the Safety Officer shall inform the Administrative Authority, which, if necessary, may request the Tunnel Manager to re-commission the tunnel in accordance with the procedure laid down in paragraph 3 on "Commissioning".

* The Safety Officer may also specify restrictive operating measures, or, in urgent cases (e.g. incidents/accidents, congestion, breakdowns), order the tunnel to be closed to the public. The Safety Officer shall send a copy of this decision to the emergency services.

5. Periodic exercises

At least once every year, the Tunnel Manager shall, in co-operation with the Safety Officer, organise periodic exercises for tunnel staff and the emergency services.

Exercises:

* should be as realistic as possible and should correspond to the defined incident scenarios;

* should yield clear results;

* should be carried out in conjunction with experts from the maintenance and emergency services in order to prevent any damage to the tunnel and keep interference with traffic flow to a minimum;

* may also, in part, be conducted as table top or computer simulation exercises for complementary results.

1.1.1.1 The Safety Officer shall supervise these exercises, draw up a report and make appropriate proposals, where necessary, to the Tunnel Manager for further action.

Annex III

Road signing for tunnels

1. General requirements

Road signs mentioned in this section are described in the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals unless specified.

1.1 Road signs shall be used to designate the following escape routes and safety facilities in tunnels:

Safety exits: the same sign shall be used at the entrance of direct exits to the outside, connections to the other tunnel tube or to a safety gallery;

Escape routes to safety exits: the two nearest escape exits shall be signed on the sidewalls, less than 25 m, at a height of 1.1 to 1.5 m, with indication of the distances;

Safety recesses: with indication of the presence of an emergency phone and a fire extinguisher less than 150 m;

Lay-bys: at least every 1.000 m; they shall be systematically signed in advance; this shall imply, by definition, the presence of an emergency phone and of at least two fire extinguishers;

Radio frequencies: the sign shall be placed at the entrance of tunnels and every 1 000 m in long tunnels.

1.2 All these signs shall be designed and positioned so that they are clearly visible to all oncoming users and shall be permanently illuminated (or lit).

2 Description of signs, panels and pictograms

Signing should conform to the following specific rules, both in sign selection and in the materials used.

2.1 Vertical signing

* Compulsory vertical signing in the advance warning area of a tunnel shall include:

- the sign "Tunnel", as described in the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals (sign E, 11a); this sign shall imply the use of dipped headlights and also include an additional panel indicating the length and the name of the tunnel, in particular for tunnels over 1 000 m;

- the specific maximum speed limit (sign C, 14) in the tunnel;

- the "No overtaking" sign (C, 13a /C, 13aa/ C, 13ab for all vehicles or C, 13b/C, 13ba/C, 13bb for heavy goods vehicles) where appropriate;

- where necessary, other additional signs such as those prohibiting entry to vehicles carrying dangerous goods (C, 3h) or certain dangerous goods (C, 3m or C, 3n).

* Compulsory vertical signing in the tunnel shall include:

- the "Maximum speed limit" sign (C, 14) every 500 m, in the case of tunnels longer than 1 000 m;

- where appropriate, the "No overtaking" sign (C, 13a /C, 13aa/ C, 13ab for all vehicles or C, 13b/C, 13ba/C, 13bb for heavy goods vehicles) every 500 m in the case of tunnels longer than 1 000 m;

* Compulsory vertical signing beyond the tunnel shall include:

- the sign (E, 11b "end of tunnel") and appropriate signs revoking the speed limitation (C, 17b) or prohibitions (C, 17c "end of prohibition of overtaking" or C, 17d "end of prohibition of overtaking for heavy goods vehicles").

* Optimum conspicuity high quality retro-reflective materials shall be used in vertical signing:

- signs inside tunnels should be made of materials with maximum retro-reflection and be internally or externally permanently illuminated to give optimum conspicuity both in day and in night-time conditions;

- materials used both in tunnels and in their advance warning area should be of the highest level of performance in reflectivity, specified in the national standards of each country, using micro-cube technology high performing retro-reflective sheeting, granting night-time visibility in the case of electrical failure.

2.2 Horizontal signing (road markings)

* Horizontal delineation should be used at the roadside edge (edge lines) at a distance of between 10 and 20 cm from the carriageway limit. The line should have a width of 30 cm. Centre lines should have a minimum width of 15 cm.

* In the case of bi-directional tunnels, retro-reflective road studs ("cats eyes") should be used on both sides of the median line (single or twin) separating the two directions at a distance ranging between 10 and 15 cm from the external edge of each line.

Retro-reflective road studs, following the national legislation concerning their maximum height and dimensions, should be used every 20 m at the maximum. If the tunnel is in a road curve, this distance should be reduced, up to 8 metres, for the first 10 reflectors from the tunnel entrance.

Optimum conspicuity high quality retro-reflective materials should be used in horizontal signing:- road markings shall be of the highest quality to grant day and night-time visibility 24 hours

- road markings shall deliver the highest possible conspicuity in wet conditions

- retro-reflective road studs shall be of the highest quality in order to achieve the highest visibility at night.

2.3 Variable Message Signs

* In tunnels under surveillance, variable message signs (VMS) shall be used at the tunnel entrance, and if possible in advance of it, to display specific messages in the case of an incident in the tunnel or in order to stop the traffic before entering in the case of an emergency.

* In long tunnels, such devices shall also be repeated inside the tunnel.

* Signs and pictograms used on variable message signs in tunnels shall be harmonised.

2.4 Signs, panels and pictograms for signing of facilities

1.1.1.2 Descriptive Panel

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

// A descriptive panel will be put at each portal of the tunnel.

It comprises two signs put on top of each other :

- On top, sign E11 of the Vienna Convention for Road Tunnels;

- Below, the European flag with an indication of the category of safety equipment. Tunnels which bear this sign meet all the requirements of Annex I and Annex III of this Directive for the tunnel class indicated on the panel.

1.1.1.3 Safety recesses

Safety recesses are intended to provide various safety equipment, in particular emergency telephones and extinguishers, but are not intended to protect road users from the effects of a fire. Signs shall indicate the equipment available to road users, such as:

>TABLE POSITION>

In safety recesses, a clearly legible text, written in several languages, shall indicate that the safety recess does not ensure protection in case of fire. An example is given below:

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

1.1.1.4 Lay-bys

Lay-bys are widenings intended for stopping in emergencies. They shall be signed as shown below; a green background colour may also be used; a telephone and an extinguisher are essential in the lay-by and shall be indicated by an additional panel. This information may also be incorporated in the sign itself.

>TABLE POSITION>

1.1.1.5 Emergency exits

The signs to indicate "Emergency exits" should conform to the pictograms proposed by the ISO 6309 standard or CEN Standard EN 12899 of January 2001. Its background colour is green. Examples are shown below:

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

//

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

It is also necessary to sign the two nearest exits on the sidewalls, about every 25 m, at a height of 1.1 to 1.5 metres. Examples are shown below.

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

//

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

1.1.1.6 Radio frequency

Tune your radio to the frequency indicated.

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

Pictograms for Variable Message Signing

The signs and pictograms shown here do not yet exist in international legal instruments

Observe traffic lights and signs (Signs can change in tunnel)

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

>TABLE POSITION>

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

Try to move your vehicle to an emergency lane, a lay-by or at least

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

to the hard shoulder or the edge of the road

Switch on your hazard warning lights // Switch off the engine if congestion persists

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

>REFERENCE TO A GRAPHIC>

IMPACT ASSESSMENT FORM IMPACT OF THE PROPOSAL ON BUSINESSES AND, IN PARTICULAR, SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMEs)

Title of the proposal

Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the trans-European road network

reference number of the document

The proposal

1. Taking account of the principle of subsidiarity, why is Community legislation necessary in this area, and what are its main aims?

The objective of the Directive is to achieve, by means of a set of compulsory technical rules, a uniform, constant and high level of protection for users of tunnels more than 500 m long on the trans-European road network.

The proposal is submitted, on the one hand, because it has been found that many tunnels covered by the Directive are not sufficiently safe, and, on the other hand, on account of the Community's obligation, under Parliament and Council Decision 1692/96 laying down Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European network, to ensure a high level of protection.

The impact on businesses

2. Who will be affected by the proposal?

By reducing the risk of fire in tunnels, the Directive will be of considerable benefit to small and medium-sized enterprises which could have their outlets cut off in the event of a prolonged tunnel closure. For example, the damage that the fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel in 1999 caused to Italian enterprises, in particular in Valle d'Aosta, has been estimated to be between EUR 300 and 450 million per annum.

The proposal will necessitate major civil engineering work. The enterprises which will carry out this work are many, structured and of varying sizes.

The enterprises which will carry out the work are either public enterprises, or mixed companies operating under a public concession.

- Which sectors of business?

All sectors; public works; tunnel operating companies

- Which sizes of businesses (proportion of small and medium-sized firms)?

Positive spin-off for firms of all sizes, but mainly for small and medium-sized enterprises

- Are there particular geographical areas in the Community where these businesses are to be found?

The areas at the edge of the central mountain ranges.

3. What will businesses have to do to comply with the proposal?

The proposal has no direct effect as far as the tunnel operating companies are concerned. The investment needed in order to comply with the minimum safety requirements will be made by the State for the tunnels belonging to the public network or by the operating companies after amendment of the concession contract providing for the financial arrangements (extension of the duration of the concession or amendment of the charges).

4. What economic effects is the proposal likely to have:

- on employment?

Positive (through investment and the improvement of the quality of the transport network)

- on investment and the creation of new businesses?

Positive

- on the competitive position of businesses?

Positive

5. Does the proposal contain measures to take account of the specific situation of small and medium-sized enterprises (reduced or different requirements, etc.)?

The proposal contains clauses making it possible to alter the nature of the work in the event of above-average costs and to extend the duration of the work.

Consultation

6. List of the organisations which have been consulted about the proposal, and outline of their main views.

The representatives of the Member States' Transport Ministries were consulted when the proposal was being prepared. They are the main bodies which will have to apply the requirements of the Directive. They are in agreement with the proposal for a Directive, as to the principle, but request the possibility of varying the requirements according to the special cases represented by certain tunnels.

The proposal is based on harmonisation work carried out by the UN/ECE in Geneva. The associations representing the public works industries take part in this work. Those enterprises are the main beneficiaries.

Top