The resources necessary for improving the safety of French road and rail tunnels
Subsequent to the disaster in the Mont Blanc Tunnel, which was followed two months later by that in the Tauern Tunnel in Austria, the Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices was instructed to conduct a study of "the resources necessary for improving the safety of French road and rail tunnels". The rapporteur, Mr Christian Kert, following the publication of the technical reports requested by the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, made a point of meeting their authors before actually visiting those tunnels that appeared to be the oldest and most hazardous. He visited a number of tunnels in neighbouring countries, carrying traffic flows comparable with those in France, and met the transport professionals as well as those responsible for the emergency, life-saving and industrial services in the sector. On completion of this study, which had taken several months, he felt able to draw up a report: this was fairly pessimistic about the condition of a number of tunnels and concluded that transport policy should be rethought in its entirety, on the grounds that the present "all by road" approach was inexorably increasing the hazards on bridges and in tunnels. The rapporteur also expressed his concern and reservations about the measures being proposed for bringing about the reopening of the Mont Blanc Tunnel, believing them to be broadly inadequate whereas they should, on the contrary, have provided an example for all other such structures.
Short title:
Tunnels safety
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Project leader:
Office Parlementaire dĀ“Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques of the French Parliament (OPECST)