General Principles to Improve Accessibility for Persons with Reduced Mobility in Road Tunnels

The report provides the general principles that apply when making allowances for persons with reduced mobility in road tunnels. The means of facilitating their ability to raise the alarm, and to evacuate in critical situations, are examined. Facilities and examples from the following countries are provided: France, Slovak Republic, Denmark, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Italy, Czech Republic, Sweden and Spain. The report is aimed at tunnel owners, designers and safety officers working on new, or refurbishment road tunnel projects, as well as tunnel operating bodies and the emergency services.

This report notably presents the general principles relating to the accessibility of safety-related facilities in road tunnels for persons with reduced mobility. Accessibility is one of the fundamental principles highlighted in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the general assembly of the United Nations on the 13th Dec 2006. The number of persons with reduced mobility is set to rise mainly due to increases in ageing populations and an increase in chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The issue of accessibility can prove highly complex in an environment such as a road tunnel. Of particular concern is access to safety facilities and access to a place of safety during an incident that requires self-evacuation. Although road tunnel designers in certain countries have begun to address the unique needs of this group of road tunnel users, there is still a considerable way to go before full accessibility to safe areas becomes possible for reduced mobility users.

Key issues relating to accessibility of safety features in tunnels for Persons with Reduced Mobility have been considered in this report. These issues have been presented as a set of General Principles for the design and implementation for new build or refurbishment tunnels.  

  • Date : 2019
  • Author(s) : Comité technique / Technical Committee / Comité Técnico D.5 Exploitation des tunnels routiers / Road Tunnel Operations /Explotación de Túneles de Carretera
  • Domain(s) : Road Tunnel Operations
  • PIARC Ref. : 2019R20EN
  • ISBN : 978-2-84060-
  • Number of pages : 55

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