Dáil Éireann - Volume 550 - 20 March, 2002

Written Answers. - Road Safety.

  474. Mr. Dukes asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the reason crash barriers of the tensioned corrugated beam and open box beam types, which are simply [1288] deemed to conform to ISEN 1317 standard are specific for use in motorway construction here while barriers that have been tested and approved under this standard are not; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8886/02]

  475. Mr. Dukes asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if, in the interests of road safety, he will take steps to ensure that all motorway projects will specify the use of high containment barriers (details supplied) in central reserves and, where appropriate, on outside verges; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8887/02]

  Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): I propose to take Questions Nos. 474 and 475 together.

  The issue of compliance with EN 1317 has been the subject of discussions between the National Roads Authority (NRA), my Department and the European Commission.

  Arising from these discussions, the NRA has made arrangements to bring future procurement of road safety barriers into line with EN 1317. The NRA's design standard, NRA TD 19/01 safety barriers, and specification, series 400 – safety barriers and pedestrian guard-rails, are now being amended accordingly.

  The NRA has confirmed that all future public tendering documentation will refer exclusively to ISEN 1317, the Irish national standard implementing European standard EN 1317, with regard to the procurement of road safety barriers. Only road barrier systems that have been successfully tested in accordance with Parts 1 and 2 of that standard, or an equivalent standard, will be permitted on future public contracts.

  The present standard applied by the NRA for the use of safety barriers, NRA TD 19/01, was published in June 2001 following an assessment of requirements for containment barriers. This requires that high containment (H2) barriers are provided at central reserves up to 7.5 m wide and that normal containment (N2) barriers are provided at central reserves between 7.5 m and 15 m in width. Barriers are not required on central reserves in excess of 15 m. Normal containment barriers are provided at other specific locations as required, for example outside verges. This element of NRA TD 19/01 will be unaffected by the changes proposed to the NRA's design standard and specification referred to above.

  Question No. 476 answered with Question No. 458.