Austrian MEP Reinhard Rack has expressed concern over the “disastrous” safety standards in some of Europe’s road tunnels. A study of 31 tunnels in 11 countries found that every third tunnel failed to make the grade. The Parlement.com reported.
Countries with the worst records were Norway and Italy, according to the survey by EuroTap, the European Tunnel Assessment Programme.
In Norway, all three of the tunnels tested were rated “very poor” while three of the five tunnels tested in Italy were similarly rated.
Tunnels in Belgium, Spain and Germany also scored poorly in what EuroTap say were the worst results in five years with safety standards in Norway branded as “disastrous.”
Commenting on the findings, Austrian EPP-ED deputy Reinhard Rack said, “The Tunnel Safety Directive was adopted in 2004 and, remarkably, public authorities and operators still fail to fulfil our recommendations towards the improvement of tunnel safety disparities across Europe.”
Four years ago, Rack drafted parliament's report on the now adopted directive on minimum standards for tunnel safety. The legislation is due to be fully effective by 2014 for most member states.
He said that despite the bad publicity Norway has received in the past for its tunnels, it appears its authorities are not taking the issue seriously.
EuroTap, however, says that it’s not all bad news.
“This year did see positive ratings in Austria and Switzerland where all of the nine tunnels tested received positive ratings,” said a spokesman.