The general objective of the ECOROADS project is to overcome the barrier established by the formal interpretation of the two Directives 2008/96/EC (on road infrastructure safety management) and 2004/54/EC (on tunnels), that in practice do not foresee the same Road Safety Audits/Inspections to be performed on open roads and in tunnels.
The main problem is that, while from the user (driver) point of view a road is a unique linear infrastructure generally in open terrain and sometimes in closed environment (tunnels), the strict application of the two Directives may lead to a non-uniform approach to the infrastructure safety management outside and inside tunnels.
To overcome this barrier, ECOROADS projects aims at the establishment of a common enhanced approach to road infrastructure and tunnel safety management by using the concepts and criteria of the Directive 2008/96/CE on road infrastructure safety management and the results of the two related European Commission's (EC) studies on Directive 2008/96/EC, covering the open road safety management and Directive 2004/54/EC, covering the tunnels.
Such an objective will be achieved through the following specific activities:
- Workshops with the stakeholders (European tunnel and road managers);
- Exchange of best practices and experiences between European tunnel experts and road safety professionals
- Pilot joint safety operations in (at least) five European road sections in transition (which feature both open roads and tunnels)
- Recommendations and guidelines for the application of the RSA and RSI concepts within the tunnel safety procedures and operations
Thanks to the high transferability of the ECOROADS results, the present formal gap between the Directive 2008/96/EC and the Directive 2004/54/EC will be bridged, thus leading to “faster, more sustainable and better planned interventions with maximum safety for the workers and other traffic participants”.
The project is going to contribute to the implementation of coherent safety procedures on the whole road network, both at the Member State and EU level. This project will therefore provide valuable input to the work of the EC and the possible future revision of one or both Directives.