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C 256/64 EN Official Journal of the European Union 24.10.

2003

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

(2003/C 256/11)

THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS,

having regard to the Proposal for Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum
safety requirements for tunnels in the Trans-European Road Network — (COM(2002) 769 final — 2002/
0309 (COD));

having regard to the decision taken by the Council on 22 January 2003, under Article 175(1) of the
Treaty establishing the European Community, to consult it on this matter;

having regard to the decision of its bureau of 12 March 2002 to issue an opinion on this subject and to
entrust the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy with the preparation of the opinion;

having regard to the White Paper on European transport policy (1) issued by the European Commission
on 12 September 2001;

having regard to Decision No. 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 Transport Network (2);

having regard to its opinion on the Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the
Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the Trans-European
Transport Network: 1998 report on the implementation of the guidelines and priorities for the future
(pursuant to Article 18 of Decision No. 1692/96/EC) (COM(98) 614 final) (CdR 60/1999 fin) (3);

having regard to its opinion on the White Paper on European transport policy (CdR 54/2001 fin) (4);

having regard to its opinion on the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council
amending Decision No. 1692/96/EC on Community guidelines for the development of the Trans-
European Network (CdR 284/2001 fin) (5);

having regard to the draft opinion adopted by the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy on 30 April
2003 (CdR 93/2003 rev.), rapporteur Mr Durnwalder, Governor of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano
— South Tyrol (Italy-EPP);

whereas:

1) there is an acknowledged need to improve the level of safety in tunnels forming part of the Trans-
European Road Network; whilst it is necessary to have a uniform level of minimum requirements,
there is also a need for a realistic appraisal of both the costs and risks and for implementation of the
safety measures to be left, as far as possible, to the Member States and the regions;

2) bearing in mind that structural and technical adjustments to existing tunnels require a high level of
investment, there is a need to set an appropriate time limit, having regard to both the tunnel density
in the respective areas and the class of tunnel concerned, i.e. the degree of risk involved;

( 1) Commission White Paper of 12.9.2001 entitled ‘European transport policy for 2010: time to decide’ COM(2001)
370 final.
( 2) OJ L 228, 9.9.1996, p. 1, as amended by Decision No 1346/2001/CE, OJ L 185, 6.7.2001, p. 1.
( 3) OJ C 293, 13.10.1999, p. 9.
( 4) OJ C 192, 12.8.2002, p. 8.
( 5) OJ C 278, 14.11.2002, p. 7.
24.10.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 256/65

3) regional and local authorities can make a decisive contribution in this field as they frequently have
direct responsibility for administering the road network in their respective areas and either
implement or coordinate a series of safety measures;

4) the introduction of higher safety standards in tunnels should be backed up by appropriate measures
to inform and educate road-users, in order to prevent accidents,
adopted this opinion unanimously at its 50th plenary session held on 2 and 3 July 2003 (meeting of
3 July).

1. The views of the Committee of the Regions 1.5. draws attention to the fact that deadlines for making
adjustments to existing tunnels should be set not only in the
light of the density of tunnels in the respective Member States
The Committee of the Regions but also in the light of the class of tunnel involved;

1.1. welcomes the Commission’s endeavours to establish a


1.6. highlights the fact that the safety system to be adopted
new, organic system of measures, coordinated at EU level and
will entail a high level of investment with regard to both the
aimed at ensuring safety in tunnels in the Trans-European
organisational requirements and the structural and technical
Road Network;
measures required; adequate funding will have to be found to
cover these costs;
1.2. would, however, point out that each tunnel represents
a unique engineering feat and consequently the same safety
measures cannot readily be applied to each individual situation; 1.7. therefore believes that the refitting requirement in
the case of existing tunnels should concentrate on hazard-
prevention measures;
1.3. does, however, underline the need to apply equivalent,
internationally consolidated standards in order to achieve the
highest possible uniform level of safety throughout the EU. 1.8. calls for local highway authorities and the safety-
When these provisions are implemented, the bodies concerned inspection authorities to be fully involved in the planning and
must be authorised to have recourse to measures which are in implementation and application of the system of measures;
line with established practice, are economically justifiable and not just tunnels, but also whole road networks should be
which take account of the state of public budgets; regarded as forming part of a single complex, from a safety
point of view, in order to enable the situation to be considered
from a comprehensive standpoint;
1.4. criticises the lack of information campaigns on correct
rules of behaviour for road-users in tunnels (e.g. the need to
keep longer safety distances between vehicles than in the open; 1.9. would like to see the application of a similar system of
the need to keep a safe distance, even when traffic has come safety measures in the case of all tunnels throughout the
to a standstill or is moving very slowly; and the establishment European transport network, bearing in mind that safety
of measures to be taken in emergencies), bearing in mind that measures cannot be confined to particular sections of this
the most frequent cause of accidents is human error; network.

2. Recommendations made by the Committee of the Regions

Recommendation 1

Article 4(2)

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

(2) The Administrative Authority may be set up at (2) The Administrative Authority may be set up at
national, regional or local level national level, but preferably at regional or local level.
C 256/66 EN Official Journal of the European Union 24.10.2003

Recommendation 2

Article 5

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

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

Recommendation 3

Articles 6 and 7

The CoR recommends that Article 6 and 7 set out less detailed provisions, with the aim of entrusting responsibility
for implementing the safety measures to the Member States or the regions, on the basis of existing organisational
arrangements.

Recommendation 4

Article 11(7)

With regard to Article 11(7), the CoR recommends that the proposed time limits for making adjustments to already
existing tunnels should also take account of the class of the tunnels concerned; i.e. the adjustments should be carried
out first to Class I tunnels and subsequently to the other classes.

Recommendation 5

Article 13(1)

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

Risk analyses shall be carried out by an independent Risk analyses shall be carried out by an independent
body, at the request and under the responsibility of the body, at the request and under the responsibility of the
Administrative Authority ... Administrative Authority ...

Reason

It must generally be the task of the operator (tunnel manager) to carry out risk analyses.
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Recommendation 6

Article 14 Title and (1)

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

Derogation for innovative techniques Derogations for innovative techniques

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

Reason

It must be possible to grant derogations also in the case of equivalent or improved safety measures.

Recommendation 7

Annex I, Point 1.2.1

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

Where, for tunnels at the design stage, a 15-year forecast Where, for tunnels at the design stage, a 15-year forecast
shows that the traffic volume will exceed 9 000 vehicles shows that the traffic volume will exceed 9 000 12 000
per day and per lane, a twin-tube tunnel with unidirec- vehicles per day and per lane, a twin-tube tunnel with
tional traffic shall be in place at the time when this value unidirectional traffic shall be in place at the time when
will be exceeded. this value will be exceeded.

Recommendation 8

Annex I, Point 1.4.2

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

Longitudinal ventilation shall be used in tunnels with bi- Longitudinal ventilation shall be used in tunnels with bi-
directional traffic only where ordinary traffic conditions directional traffic only where ordinary traffic conditions
allow vehicles to drive out of the tunnel in the direction allow vehicles to drive out of the tunnel in the direction
of the smoke. of the smoke.in cases where it has been demonstrated,
on the basis of specific calculations, that the planned
longitudinal ventilation equipment can contain the
smoke, at least during evacuation or rescue operations.
C 256/68 EN Official Journal of the European Union 24.10.2003

Recommendation 9

Annex I, Point 1.6

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

The distance between lay-bys shall not exceed 1 000 m. The distance between lay-bys shall not exceed 1 000 m.
The Administrative Authority may require shorter dis- The Administrative Authority may require shorter dis-
tances between lay-bys where a risk analysis concludes tances between lay-bys where a risk analysis concludes
that this is necessary. that this is necessary. If the tunnel has an emergency
parking shoulder, lay-bys may not be required.

Recommendation 10

Annex I, point 1.7.7

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

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

Recommendation 11

Annex I, Point 1.8

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

As they can increase potential risks, longitudinal gradi- As they can increase potential risks, longitudinal gradi-
ents above 5 % shall not be permitted. ents above 5 %6 % shall not be permitted, except where
the geographical features do not allow for any other
solution.
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Recommendation 12

Annex I, Point 1.11.1

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

Tunnels shall be equipped with the following: Tunnels shall be equipped with the following:

— indication of escape routes by lighting at least — Indication of escape routes by lighting at least
every 100 m and by signs every 25 m, 1,1 m to every 100 m and by signs every 25 m, 1,1 m to
1,5 m above escape route level, and by lighting 1,5 m 50 m, 2 m above escape route level, and by
and signs above safety recesses and fire-fighting lighting and signs above safety recesses and fire-
equipment; fighting equipment;

— systematic installation of fire extinguishers in the — low-voltage illuminated road marking separating
tunnels at intervals of at least 150 m and at the the road from the pavement;
entrances, and water supply for firemen at intervals
of at least 150 m; — traffic lights for halting access to tunnels not just
at tunnel entrances but also at a specified distance
— radio broadcasting equipment in all tunnels with in front of entrances;
special channels for emergency services use. The
Tunnel Manager and emergency services shall be — automatic triggering of incident alarms by (various
able to interrupt radio broadcasting for emergency possibilities):
messages;
— exceeding of the alarm level for CO concentrations;
— video monitoring systems in tunnels longer than
1 000 m, including automatic incident detection; — exceeding of the alarm level for poor visibility;

— ... — the activation of fire-detection systems;

— manual activation of the alarm signal.

— systematic installation of fire extinguishers in the


tunnels at intervals of at least150 m 200 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


1000 m5000 m, including automatic incident
detection;

— ...

Recommendation 13

Annex I, Point 1.11.2

With reference to Annex I, Point 1.11.2, the CoR recommends that rescue areas be provided for emergency service
vehicles and helicopters at the entrances to Class I, II and III tunnels.
C 256/70 EN Official Journal of the European Union 24.10.2003

Recommendation 14

Annex I, Point 1.13

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

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

Recommendation 15

Annex I, point 1.14

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

Drainage of flammable liquids shall be possible through Where the transport of dangerous goods is permitted,
well-designed slot gutters within the tunnel cross sec- drainage of flammable liquids shall be possible through
tions, where the transport of dangerous goods is permit- well-designed slot gutters within the tunnel cross sec-
ted. tions, with siphon boxes (hydraulic seals) which stop the
propagation of fire.

Recommendation 16

Annex I, Point 2.2

With regard to Annex I, Point 2.2, the CoR recommends that, in the case of tunnels over 1 km in length, safety
officers draw up an emergency plan, test this plan in exercises held at regular intervals (every five years) with the aid
of the emergency services and, where necessary, improve the plan.

Recommendation 17

Annex I, Point 2.5.1

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

For all tunnels, and particularly for tunnels starting and For all Class I and Class II tunnels, and particularly for
finishing in different Member States, a single control tunnels starting and finishing in different Member States,
centre shall have full control at any given time. a single control centre shall have full control at any given
time.there should be a contact point to which all
incidents are notified.
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Recommendation 18

Annex I, Point 3.2

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

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

Reason

This point appears to be superfluous and should be deleted.

Recommendation 19

Annex I, Point 4.2.1

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

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

Reason

The operation of navigation and positioning systems in tunnels would not appear to be a matter of key importance.

Recommendation 20

Annex I, Point 4.2.2

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

When a user calls the emergency number 112 by mobile When a user calls the specified emergency number 112
phone from a tunnel, the information shall be instantly by mobile phone from a tunnel, the information shall
available to the tunnel operator and the emergency be instantly available to the tunnel operator and the
services. emergency services. contact point designated by the
administrative authority.
C 256/72 EN Official Journal of the European Union 24.10.2003

Recommendation 21

Annex I, point 1, second bullet

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

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

Recommendation 22

Annex II, point 2, first and third bullets

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

— The Tunnel Manager shall at all times keep safety — The Tunnel Manager or the person responsible
documentation for each tunnel. ... for the project shall at all times keep safety
documentation for each tunnel. ...
— The safety documentation ...
— The safety documentation ...
— The safety documentation for a tunnel at the design
stage shall include: — 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 — a description of the planned structure and
for understanding its design and anticipated access to it, together with the plans necessary
operating arrangements; for understanding its design and anticipated
intended operating arrangements;
— ...
— ...

Recommendation 23

Annex II, point 3, third bullet

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

For this purpose the Tunnel Manager shall compile For this purpose the Tunnel Manager or the person
complete safety documentation. This documentation responsible for the project shall compile complete safety
shall include: documentation. This documentation shall include:
24.10.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 256/73

Recommendation 24

Annex II, point 3, fourth bullet

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

The Tunnel Manager shall transmit this safety docu- The Tunnel Manager or the person responsible for the
mentation to the Safety Officer, who shall give his project shall transmit this safety documentation to the
opinion on the opening of the tunnel to public traffic. Safety Officer, who shall give his opinion on the opening
of the tunnel to public traffic.

Recommendation 25

Annex II, point 3, fifth bullet

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

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

Recommendation 26

Annex II, point 5

Text proposed by the Commission CoR amendments

At least once every year, the Tunnel Manager shall, in At least once every year every five years and also
cooperation with the Safety Officer, organise periodic when the tunnel is brought into service and the safety
exercises for tunnel staff and the emergency services. documentation is renewed because of changes, the
Tunnel Manager shall, in cooperation with the Safety
— Exercises: ... Officer, organise periodic exercises for tunnel staff and
the emergency services.

— Exercises: ...
C 256/74 EN Official Journal of the European Union 24.10.2003

Recommendation 27

Annex III

With regard to Annex III, the CoR recommends that road signing should in all cases be readily understandable and
self-explanatory; it must at all events be agreed, on a uniform basis, throughout Europe and it should not encumber
tunnels.

Brussels, 3 July 2003.

The President
of the Committee of the Regions
Albert BORE

Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the ‘Management and consequences of natural
disasters: the role of European structural policy’

(2003/C 256/12)

THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS,

having regard to the decision of its Bureau on 19 November 2002, in accordance with the fifth paragraph
of Article 265 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, to draw up an opinion on the
Management and consequences of natural disasters: the role of European structural policy, and to instruct
the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy (as lead Commission) and the Commission for Sustainable
Development to undertake the preparatory work;

having regard to the supplementary opinion of the Commission for Sustainable Development (rapporteur:
Mr Gottardo, Member of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Regional Council (IT-EPP)), DI CdR 12/2003;

having regard to its opinion of 14 January 1999 on the European Spatial Development Perspective
(ESDP) (CdR 266/98 fin) (1);

having regard to its opinion of 14 November 2001 on the Second report on economic and social
cohesion (CdR 74/2001 fin) (2);

having regard to its opinion of 15 February 2001 on The structure and goals of European regional policy
in the context of enlargement and globalisation: opening of the debate (CdR 157/2000 fin) (3);

having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No. 1260/1999 of 21 June 1999 (4) laying down general
provisions on the Structural Funds;

having regard to the Second report on economic and social cohesion of 31 January 2001 (COM(2001)
24 final) and its opinion thereon (CdR 74/2001 fin) (2);

( 1) OJ C 93 of 6.4. 1999, p. 36.


( 2) OJ C 107 of 3.5.2002, p. 27.
( 3) OJ C 148 of 18.5.2001, p. 25.
( 4) OJ L 161 of 26.6.1999, p. 7.