Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ECOROADS Report Summary

Project ID: 652821
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ECOROADS (Effective and COordinated ROAD infrastructure Safety operations)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The general objective of the project is to overcome the barrier established by a formal interpretation of the two Directives 2008/96/EC (on road infrastructure safety management) and 2004/54/EC (on tunnels), that in practice doesn’t allow to perform infrastructure safety checks inside tunnels.
The main problem is that, while from the user’s (drivers) point of view a road is a unique linear infrastructure generally in open terrain and sometimes in closed environment (tunnels), a strict application of the two Directives leads to a non-uniform approach to the infrastructure safety management outside and inside tunnels.
To overcome this barrier, Ecoroad aims at the establishment of a common enhanced approach to road infrastructure and tunnel safety management by using concepts and criteria of the Directive 2008/96/CE on road infrastructure safety management and the results of related EC funded projects.
Such objective will be achieved through the following specific objectives:
- Workshops with the stakeholders (European tunnel and road managers); Analysis/review of national practices regarding Road Safety Inspections (RSI) and Road Safety Audit (RSA), starting from the results of the 2 studies recently launched by DG Move to assess the impact of the two Directives 2008/96/EC (on road infrastructure safety management) and 2004/54/EC (on tunnels)
- Exchange of best practices and experiences between European tunnel experts and road safety professionals
- Pilot joint safety operations in some European road sections having both open roads and tunnels
- Recommendations and guidelines for the application of the RSA and RSI concepts within the tunnel safety operations
Thanks to the high transferability of the ECOROADS results, the present formal gap (explained in details in the following paragraph) between the Directive 2008/96/EC and the Directive 2004/54/EC will be completely filled and will lead to "faster, more sustainable and better planned interventions"."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far


The objective of WP1 is to carry out the effective management of the project and contacts with the EC.

Some of the work and activities conducted in the first reporting period of the project include:
•Interface between the EC and the Consortium
The project coordinator successfully ensured the interface between the EC and the consortium. The coordinator constantly liaised with the EC to make sure that the project officer is aware of the progress of the project and that the consortium is put in the loop regarding expectations from the EC. Apart from frequent email exchanges, a meeting with the project officer took place on 27 January 2016 aimed at providing an update of the project’s progress.
•Administration and distribution of EC funds
The pre-financing amount received by the project coordinator was distributed to the project partners at the beginning of the project.
•Keep records and financial accounts of the distribution of the Community financial contribution. The project coordinator keeps records of the distribution of the EC funds to project partners.
•Monitor the compliance by beneficiaries with their obligations under the grant agreement
There is on-going work to ensure that project partners comply with the grant agreement.
•Coordination of all administrative tasks involved in the preparation, execution and post-processing of major project meetings (agenda, invitation, location of meetings, organisation of rooms and equipment, distribution and archiving of materials, minutes and action lists)
•Handling of project correspondence and day-to-day requests from partners and external bodies.
•Technical Project Management
WP1 coordinates technical project management responsibilities through the Project Coordination Committee (Project Coordinator and WP leaders).
A Project Coordination Committee meeting took place on Friday, 23 October 2015 in Brussels.

Some of the results and achievements in WP1 include:

• Preparation of deliverable D1.1 – Quality Assurance Plan
• Development of project document templates
The following ECOROADS project templates were prepared
Agenda, attendance list, deliverable integrated peer review report, deliverable peer review report, deliverable, minutes, milestone, presentation, progress report, task report, working document.

The templates are stored on the ECOROADS website (

• Organisation of project meetings
The following project meetings have been organised:
- ECOROADS Kick of Meeting; 4 – 5 June 2015, Brussels
- 1st Project Management Meeting, 29 September 2015, Brussels
- Project Coordination Meeting, 23 October 2015, Brussels
- 2nd Project Management Meeting, 22 – 23 February 2016, Rome

• Internal Financial Reporting
An internal financial report (using ECOROADS Financial Report Template) was prepared at the end of the first 6 months of the project (covering June 2015 – 31 November 2015). Input was provided by each partner and Coordinator provided all partners with the updated budget files, including the comparison of the planned and already spent budget.


Work package 2 “Overview of the application of the Two Directives” provides a clear picture of the practical implications related to the implementation of the two directives across European countries in order to understand the benefits while, on the other hand, the challenges faced. WP 2 analysed the outcomes of the studies commissioned by the European Commission on the two directives recently published. Furthermore road users’ needs and perceptions were investigated. These analyses are instrumental in preparing the workshops in order to engage the relevant stakeholders to discuss and address the main questions raised.

Work and activities conducted:
According to the agreed objective, a first introductory analysis was implemented, in order to present the practical application of the two Directives by the Road operators and Tunnel operators’ point of view, across EU countries. The scope of this work was the analysis of the key articles and annexes in both directives, taking into the application of the directives, according to national guidelines of the directives. Additionally, with the above analysis, the planned WP2 tasks were divided in three main tasks:
• Task 2.1 Summary of the previous studies (Studies on the implementation and effects of Directive 2004/54/EC & 2008/96/EC)
• Task 2.2 Analysis of the users’ needs
• Task 2.3 Conclusion/ summary of 2.1 and 2.2 - Documents for workshops

Task 2.1 Summary of the previous studies:
The summary of the previous studies takes into account the existing differences between the safety requirements inside tunnels and on open roads described in the two directives and seeks to investigate and analyse the main results stemming from the two studies on the impact of Directives 2004/54/EC and 2008/96/EC. More specific the two studies are:
• Study on the implementation and effects of Directive 2004/54/EC on minimum safety requirements for road tunnels in the trans-European road.
(June 2015, Author: ICF Consulting Services in association with TRT Trasporti e Territorio )
• Study on the effectiveness and on the improvement of the EU legislation framework on Road Infrastructure Safety Management (Directive 2008/96/EC)
(December 2014, Author: Transport & Mobility Leuven, )
The outcomes of this report regarding the key topics and issues in the two directives, the possible elements to be coordinated, was the input to be discussed with the experts in setting-up the scene for the future activities of the ECOROADS Project.

Task 2.2 Analysis of the users’ needs:
This task presents an assessment of the safety perception of users in the changing environment from open roads to tunnels. Although tunnels may be seen as a separate section of infrastructure, the same level of perceived safety should be ensured across the entire road infrastructure. Therefore, a literature review was carried out to evaluate the road user’s expectation and needs on open road, inside a tunnel, as well as in the transitional area between these two infrastructure sections.

Task 2.3 Documents for workshops:
This task contains the results of TaskS 2.1 and 2.2. This task provides a conclusion document for the first ECOROADS workshop with a series of themes and questions for the stakeholders raised during the above analyses. The scope was to pave the way to a comprehensive discussion which will enable the most representative tests sites to be selected.

Significant achievements and results
Work package 2 “Overview of the application of the Two Directives” provides a clear picture of the practical implications related to the implementation of the two directives across European countries in order to understand the benefits while, on the other hand, the challenges faced. WP 2 analysed the outcomes of the studies commissioned by the European Commission on the two directives recently published. These analyses are instrumental in preparing the workshops in order to engage the relevant stakeholders to discuss and address the main questions raised.
The Work package 2 examines the differences, established by the two Directives 2008/96/EC (on road infrastructure safety management) and 2004/54/EC (minimum safety requirements for tunnels). Both directives do not foresee harmonized Road Safety Audits/Inspections (RSA/RSI) to be performed on open roads and in tunnels considering their specificities. One of the key elements is the management of the transitional portal areas where the road “enters” to a tunnel and “exits” a tunnel, named “Portal Region”. Key issue in the area is to establish the necessary approach taking into account:
- The technical specificities inside the tunnel,
- The need for a single traffic management inside and outside the tunnel.
The main issue is the following:
- From the user’s (drivers) point of view a road is a unique linear infrastructure although it is clear for the driver that such a linear infrastructure is consisted by open terrain (open roads) and occasionally and by closed environment (tunnels). The driver wants to receive the same high safety levels, without being interested to know all the details of the “infrastructure safety chain” that produces such safety.
- From the industry point of view the road is surely not a unique linear infrastructure. The industry knows that producing and managing safety in a closed environment (tunnels) is much more demanding and extreme than in an open road infrastructure.
The policy makers, accepting the point of the industry, have recognized that the infrastructure safety management in open roads and in tunnels should be regulated legally by setting up two different directives, which should deal with these realities following a non-uniform approach.


The objective of the workshops is the exchange of best practices and experiences between European tunnel experts and road safety professionals, plan and discuss procedures for the joint pilot safety operations in (at least) five European road sections which feature both open roads and tunnels, come forward with recommendations and guidelines for the application of the RSA and RSI concepts within the tunnel safety operations.
Another objective is to bring together stakeholders (European tunnel and road managers from at least 10 European countries). Two workshops were organized by task leaders according to the following schedule (the third one to be organized in autumn by ERF):
- First workshop (30th of September 2015, Brussels, the European Economic and Social Committee, Task Leader FEHRL) discussed the results of the overview of the application of the two directives and the details of the exchange of best practices as well as guidance on procedures for the joint road safety operations.
- Second Workshop (2nd of June 2016, Brussels, the European Economic and Social Committee, TASK Leader ASECAP) was held after the first set of joint safety operation, in order to analyse the first results and fine tune the second set of field tests.
- Third (final) Workshop (autumn, Brussels, location TBC, Task Leader ERF) will discuss the results of the operations and the first draft of the guidelines.

Work and activities conducted:
Based on WP 2, a specific Deliverable (Task 2.3, Documents for workshop) was prepared by ETSC (task leader). The documents contained the results of Task 2.1 (Summary of previous studies, Task Leader ERF) and 2.2 (Analysis of the road users’ needs, Task Leader FEHRL). It involved the preparation and compilation of documents for the first workshop. Also, it served as a basis for the first discussion with experts in breakout groups within this workshop.

Significant achievements and results:
The first workshop took place on the 30th of September 2015 at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. The European Commission (DG Move) as well as 50 participants from public bodies, industry, research centres and road user associations took part. The meeting facilitated the exchange of best practices and experiences between European tunnel experts and road safety professionals. The application of the two Directives was discussed and the 5 test locations and assessment criteria established.

The second workshop which took place on the 2nd of June 2016 also at the EESC was attended by a wide range of professionals with different expertise: policy makers, safety experts, public servants and representative of the European Commission, EESC and INEA. The mixed expertise led to a comprehensive and fruitful discussion concerning the partial results of the joint safety operations and raised some key points and issues to be addressed during the future joint safety operations.


Further to the previous meeting with Stakeholders which took place on 30 September 2015, the first workshop on ‘Exchange of best practices’ was organised with the objective to discuss and exchange best practices and experiences between European tunnel experts and road safety experts.
The main objectives of this workshop were the following:
• Prior to the joint safety operations, there is a need to bring together experts to discuss and agree on a joint and uniform approach to road and safety tunnel management.
• The Workshop also aims at defining the procedures for the safety joint operations, e.g. checklists, use of modern technologies during operations, inspection reports, feedback from infrastructure manager etc.

Work and activities conducted:
The workshop took place on Thursday 19th November 2015 and Friday 20 November 2015 at Banca Monte Paschi Schuman, Av. d’Auderghem 22-26 in Brussels.
The workshop gathered some 30 persons, with expertise in tunnel and open road safety (invited by the partners), to explain road safety operations and major issues and to present best practices, both in tunnels and on open roads.
The first day programme included a presentation of the current status of the ECOROADS project, followed by presentations on road safety practices on open roads and tunnels.
The second day programme included presentation of the conclusions of the first day, presentation on tunnel and road safety inspection experiences from Europe (Norway and SEETO region).
The meeting ended with a final discussion for the planning of the joint safety operations.
Programme of day 1:
• Presentation on road safety practices on open roads (Dirk Lauwers - B)
• Presentation on road safety practices on open roads and tunnels in Germany (Andreas Vesper and Christof Sistenich – DE)
• Presentation on tunnel practices in Italy (Carlo Ricciardi and Paola Di Mascio – I)

From the conclusions of day one, it appears that there are huge differences existing between European Union Member States regarding the application of the RISD and it was repeated that the main issue was ‘forgiving roadside’.

Other issues that need to be discussed are:
• The definition of managing the traffic in the transitional (portal) areas
• The possible composition of the inspection teams
• The overall coordinator
• Whether the infrastructure manager could/should be part of the inspecting group
• Further analysis of the RISD for the auditing needs

Programme of day 2:
• Summary of day 1 (Carlo Polidori)
• Presentation on joint tunnel and open road safety operations in the SEETO area (Liliana Cela – SEETO)
• Presentation on road tunnel safety management in Norway (Arild Petter Sovik – NW)
Further to the second presentation of the second day, there was a shared opinion that Norway had achieved the right combination in its approach of road and tunnel inspections and audits. The Norwegian approach is totally in line with the ECOROADS project objectives.
• Presentation on the planning of the joint safety operations (methodologies, checklist…)
The last presentation of the second day addressed the topic of the planning of the safety operations (WP5) and the definition of common procedures.
The objective was to list a series of proposals to be discussed, commented on different topics and to gather feedback from the participating experts.
These topics included:
• Key definitions (length of open roads sections and transition areas)
What length? Should it depend on the weaving manoeuvres before and after the tunnel? Should they be defined case by case or systematically (10 seconds, distance…)?
• Audit / inspection process, roles and responsibilities
Who will participate? List of experts and splitting of the responsibilities among the inspection team
• Audit / inspection team (composition, role of observer, list of experts…)
Structure and composition of the team – number of participants
Role of managers, representatives and ECOROADS observer
Possibility of mixed team (from different countries)?
• Execution of the audit / inspection (planning, data requirements, timing, use of modern technologies, checklists,…)
Planning of the inspection:
Data requirements, earlier reports, accident data (how long)?
Carrying out the inspection:
safety for the inspection team and the road users
By day and/or night? During maintenance or open traffic conditions (focusing on infrastructure or driver’s behaviour)?
Should we use modern technologies (such as pictures, videos…)?
Checklists: what are the available documents related to tunnels?
• Documents:
Necessity to draft templates for audit/inspection brief, report, response from the manager and evaluation form
The structure of the report:
Introduction, specific project details and items resulting from the audit/inspection
Substructure: by homogeneous sections, by direction, by safety topics?

Significant achievements and results:
The discussions regarding the various experiences on road safety practices on open roads and in tunnels from different countries have generated an intense debate among the experts present.
Based on the proposal presented at the end of the workshop, many issues still remain open for a final decision, such as:
• Definitions of road and tunnel areas (open road, transition);
• Audit/Inspection process, roles and responsibilities for ECOROADS tests;
• Composition and competences of the joint team: number of experts, minimum one road and one tunnel expert, coming or not from different countries; participation of further people as “observers”;
• Execution of Audit/Inspection (preparation, equipment, data & documents, what to be audited/inspected, reporting)
o Checklists: usage of checklists;
o Safety of the inspection team and other road users during the operations;
o Possible use of modern technologies;
o Point of view of all road users;
o Inspection report: scheme and content of the report, including the relative importance of each deficiency, in order to allow the infrastructure manager to take appropriate decisions.
• Feedback from the infrastructure manager: scheme of the written response the road authority;
• Monitoring of the ECOROADS tests.
Further to this Workshop, the project consortium members will make a decision on the different topics, taking into account the comments and suggestions made by the experts.


The objective of WP5 is to plan, perform and optimise joint safety operations in five European road sections which have both open roads and tunnels. The safety operations are to be conducted by an international team composed of road and tunnel safety experts.

Work and activities conducted:
Task 5.1 Definition of common procedures
On the basis of the outcomes of the first workshop (September 2015) and the Seminar for exchange of best practices (November 2015), and on the basis of the most recent research and guidelines for Road Safety Audit/ Inspection, the common procedures were defined for the organisation, performance, reporting and evaluation of the joint pilot safety operations at the selected test sites. The common procedures describe how all field tests should be performed in a uniform way, allowing effective monitoring and evaluation. Specifically, they comprise definitions: of the infrastructure segmentation (open road, transition area, tunnel area); the Road Safety Audit/ Inspection process; the roles and responsibilities of the participants and team composition; and the tools and methods used during planning/organisation of the field tests (including safety provisions), during the Road Safety Audit/ Inspection, and for reporting and evaluation/ monitoring. The common procedures have been followed during the first set of field tests and are under fine-tuning for application during the second set of field tests in second-half of 2016. Especially regarding tools and methods, the common procedures describe the equipment and data requirements, checklists per segment of infrastructure and templates for feedback and reporting. Overall a workflow chart has been developed, to be followed by all involved participants, according to their roles and responsibilities [Road RSA/RSI Expert, Tunnel RSA/RSI Expert, ECOROADS Internal Observer, Facilitator, External Observers (within Consortium), Other experts and Stakeholders (outside the Consortium)], as prescribed in detail in the procedures.

Task 5.2 Field Tests
During the first workshop (September 2015), the five locations, in different countries, were selected. A first set of two locations, namely the Kennedy Tunnel in Antwerp, Belgium and the Krraba Tunnel in Tirana, Albania, were conducted in an earlier phase, immediately after the Common Procedures were defined (see Deliverable 5.1 Common Procedures with the indication of the safety procedures) and before the second workshop took place. The results and the feedback (evaluation) of these two field tests served as important information for that second workshop. Each field test was visited by a team, composed of a core team of road safety experts and tunnel experts, a facilitator, the host and internal and external observers. The visit took place during daylight by car, when the infrastructure was open for all road users, and during night on foot, when a tunnel tube was closed for traffic. Before and after the site visit there was time for information transfer, discussions, and preparation of the reports (feedback reports, RSI/RSA-report, observer report). Data like accident data, maps and plans, video observation, real traffic info, were available in advance or during the meeting.
The second set of operations will be conducted in the second half of 2016.Those 3 test sites are located in Germany (BAB A71 / Rennsteig Tunnel), Serbia (Belgrade bypass Strazevica tunnel, Corridor X) and Macedonia (Demir Kapija tunnel, Corridor X – FYROM).

Task 5.3 Reporting and feedback
At the end of the first two field tests, an activity report was prepared. These reports contain a short summary of the activities and the feedback, based on filled evaluation forms, of the experts about the joint operations. In the second workshop, held on the 2nd of June 2016, where project partners and invited stakeholders were present, these reports were discussed and little adjustments in the common procedures were made. The second set of reports (from the joint road safety operations in Germany, Macedonia and Serbia) will be used to fine tune the “Guidelines and Recommendations” (Deliverable D6.3) and will be embedded as appendixes. Significant achievements and results
The following deliverables have been submitted:
• D 5.1 Common procedures, with the indication of the safety procedures: indication of the safety procedures agreed by the stakeholders.
• D 5.2 Feedbacks from first tests: feedbacks of the experts and the road managers involved in the first set of tests


The objective of WP6 is to provide recommendations and guidelines for the application of the RSA and RSI concepts within the tunnel safety operations, as well as to enhance the application of RSA and RSI in open roads through the results obtained during the joint road safety operations. For the above reasons it was scheduled to start on Month 11 (May 2016) and to continue up to month 21(February 2017).

Work and activities conducted:
Task 6.1 Preliminary version of the guidelines
AIPSS, FEHRL and SEETO, together with their associated institutes, prepared the basis of the first draft of the guidelines, consisting in an annotated version of the common agreed procedures for the joint inspections. The draft has been largely discussed among the partners and also with the stakeholders during the second project workshop, held in Brussels on 02/06/2015.

Task 6.1 Preliminary version of the guidelines
This task has not yet started.

Significant achievements and results:
The preliminary version of the guidelines (project deliverable D6.1) was submitted in June 2016 after a further cross review from all the participating partners and third parties. It took into account the feedback given by the first two road safety operations and the results of the second workshop and will be used as a tool for the second and last set of joint road safety operations.


The main objectives of the dissemination process are to communicate the activities of the project, ensure that the practical process and the outcomes are widely disseminated to the appropriate target stakeholder audiences, at the appropriate time and through the right tools. The implementation and exploitation activities have to ensure that those who can contribute to the development, evaluation uptake and exploitation of the project’s outcomes can be identified and encouraged to participate. In this way the project is brought to life even after it has ended. All partners are encouraged to use their partnerships and long-standing experience in EU funded projects to spread the information through their respective technical WPs and activities.
Specific for dissemination is to communicate the results of workshops with stakeholders and report on the exchange of best practices and experiences between European tunnel experts and road safety professionals.
Another important objective is to report on the organisation of joint safety operations (field tests) and disseminate the results.
Finally, communication on the ensuing recommendations and guidelines (for the application of the RSA and RSI concepts within the tunnel safety operations) is done following the Dissemination plan, to internal and external target audience such as project partners, project Advisory Board/Stakeholder Reference Group and externally to: other similar project partners, end users (e.g. national and regional Road Authorities, city administrations, construction and civil engineering operators), European road research centres, International, European and national Road Associations and Federations, national road safety organisations, European Technology Platforms (e.g. ECTP and ERTRAC), policy makers (eg the European Commission, national and regional Road Authorities), media – primarily specialist media eg World Highways, Revue Generale de Route, Carreterras, Le Strade, Strade e Autostrade and European media eg: Parliament magazine, Euractiv, Politico, etc
Last but not least, specific outcomes will be communicated to the scientific and academic community (eg technical bodies and committees, relevant universities) as well as the general public and shapers (eg relevant users in the five SEETO test countries) – towards the end of the project.

Work and activities conducted:
Task 7.1 Dissemination and exploitation/implementation plan
The project consortium built on the draft dissemination plan for the activities of the project. These raised awareness and encouraged the involvement of stakeholders, as well as support for securing of the quality of the results, ensuring the participation and contribution of key players during the last months and after the project has ended.

Task 7.2 Project website and other dissemination material
ECOROADS website and visual identity of the project (flyers, logos, presentations, newsletters)
A website was designed to inform about the progress of the project as well as information about the planned workshops. A special logo was designed for the project. The website hosts all the information, graphics and other research material related to the activities of ECOROADS. 500 brochures were prepared and distributed according to the dissemination plan. One newsletter (out of the three scheduled) was prepared and distributed in December 2015 – outlining progress so far and future steps.

Task 7.3 Final conference
The final conference will be organized at the end of the project in order to summarize the project results and disseminate them at international level. The final version of the guidelines will be presented, together with the methodology adopted and suggestions about a possible way to move forward in implementing a realistic common approach, aiming at creating a well-identified procedure for joint safety operations in tunnel and open roads.

Significant achievements and results
News updates, press releases, media coverage
- Dissemination of workshop’s 1 and 2 invitations and programmes to build relevant attendance (road safety experts and professionals) to the events.
- Key deliverables and actions were highlighted in news updates for the website, on the partners’ websites, in newsletters, news items and specialised media engagement (specialized press) for results.
- Publication of ECOROADS news on social media outlets (Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook).
- In the second half of the project (autumn 2016) after the drafting of the preliminary guidelines, a press release will be issued.
- Presentation of ECOROADS project at the IRF conference in Istanbul, September 2015
- Organisation of ECOROADS project at TRB2016 in Washington, Janaury 2016
- Presentation of ECOROADS project at TRA2016 in Warsaw, April 2016
- Presentation of ECOROADS project at the ASECAP DAYS 2016 annual conference in Madrid, May 2016 (ECOROADS Stand/ booth in the exhibition area of the ASECAP Days 2016, Presentation of the ECOROADS Project in a specific relevant session of the Conference, Visibility of the Project during the entire Conference and an ECOROADS delegation, Presence of the ECOROADS Logo in all the communication materials related to the ASECAP Days)

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

ECOROADS will deliver a common approach to road infrastructure safety monitoring, thus optimising the time, quality and costs of the safety checks.

This proposal deals with the application of the principles of Road Safety Audits during the design and construction of new infrastructure, therefore leading to construction techniques that enhance the reliability of infrastructure from a safety point of view.
Since ECOROADS will also deal with Road Safety Inspections, the maintenance techniques will be addressed too.

This project will harmonise infrastructure safety monitoring: the life span of ageing infrastructure, particularly in the transition areas between tunnels and the open road, will therefore be extended due to better attention being given to their inspection.

The Guidelines and Recommendations delivered by the project are an effective tool to meet cost-effectiveness and sustainability goals

Related information

Record Number: 190398 / Last updated on: 2016-11-15