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UK Tunnel Classification Codes for ADR
Tunnel classification for ADR came into effect on 1st January 2010. These codes should make it easier to plan transport journeys as the tunnels and codes are to be published on the UNECE website. The Tunnel codes will need to be added to transport documents by consignors.
At present some information is available by tunnel or country but it is difficult to find. An example being the Mont-Blanc Tunnel which has a web-site and in English will declare that goods subject to ADR are not allowed. Frejus Tunnel meanwhile allows carriage under exemption 1.1.3.6 (small loads) but their web-site only advises this in French. To date only the German and UK authorities have actually done this as far as we are aware, now imagine you are a transport planner looking at European deliveries!

There are five categories of tunnel categorisation with A being the least restrictive and as such will not be sign-posted, through to E which will mean only the passage of UN2919, 3291, 3331, 3359 and 3373 will be allowed.

The categorisation is based on the assumption that in tunnels there are three major dangers which may cause numerous victims or serious damage to the tunnel itself, these are:

  • Explosions
  • Release of toxic gas or volatile liquid
  • Fires

 

The UK authorities have now concluded all but one of their codes on the nine applicable tunnels after undertaking the risk assessment process.

 

These tunnels are confirmed as:

Tunnel Code
Dartford (tunnel only) C
Mersey D
Clyde D
Ramsgate A*
Tyne D
Limehouse (London) E
Rotherhithe (London) E
Blackwall (London) E
East India Dock Road (London) E

* Ramsgate was originally given a C rating but it is expected to be downgraded to A before November this year.

 

The codes above are for the tunnels themselves, the dangerous goods carried have a set of codes to go with them and can be seen on the table below (ADR 8.6.4).

Hauliers who transport goods under exemptions at 1.1.3, Limited & Excepted Quantities or under the threshold limits for example will not have to apply the tunnel codes as they are not subject to the restrictions (shown at 1.9.5.3.6 & 8.6.3.3).

Each UN number has been given a tunnel restriction code and they can be found in table A 3.2.1 in column 15 along with the Transport category information.

If substances transported are in scope these codes will need to be inserted into the transport documents in compliance with 5.4.1.1.1 (k). If it is known that travel will not involve any tunnels then the code does not need to be entered.

When loads contain more than one dangerous substance the most restrictive code amongst those substances will need applying to the entire load.

Petrol (UN1203) in tank carriage, which is a common member load can be shown as an example, column 15 shows this as D/E. Looking at the table below, D/E allows the substance to travel through tunnels marked C and above (C, B and A). It will not allow the substance to travel through tunnel marked D or E.


Table relating to substances ADR2009 8.6.4

 

Tunnel restriction code of the whole load Restriction

B

Passage forbidden through tunnels of category B, C, D and E.

B1000C

Carriage where the total net explosive mass per transport unit:

  • Exceeds 1000kg: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category B, C, D and E.
  • Does not exceed 1000kg: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D and E.

B/D

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category B and C;

Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D and E.

B/E

Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category B, C and D;

Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category E.

C

Passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D and E.

C5000C

Carriage where the total net explosive mass per transport unit:

  • Exceeds 5000kg: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D and E.
  • Does not exceed 5000kg: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D and E.

C/D

Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D and E;

Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D and E.

C/E

Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category C and D and E;

Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category E.

D

Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D and E.

D/E

Bank or Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D and E;

Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category E.

E

Passage forbidden through tunnels of category E.

Passage allowed through all tunnels (For UN Nos. 2919 and 3331, see also 8.6.3.1)

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