RoadSafe Europe

Dangerous Goods & transport training and consultancy

On 1st January 2010, new restrictions on the types and quantities of Dangerous Goods that are allowed to enter the UK's larger road tunnels came into force.

Each regulated tunnel is assigned to a particular category, A to E, A being the least restrictive (shown by a "" in the ADR manuals), and E being the most. These are based on a risk assessment conducted by the DfT of the tunnel characteristics, availability and suitability of available alternative routes and other trffic management considerations.

The categorization was based  on the assumption that in all tunnels there are three major dangerers that may cause serious damage to the tunnel, or loss of life - explosions, release of toxic gas or volatile toxic liquid, and fires.

Tunnel categories (ADR 2011, 1.9.5.2.2)

A

  • No restrictions for the transport of Dangerous Goods;

B

  • Restriction for Dangerous Goods which may lead to a
    • very large explosion

C

  • Restriction for Dangerous Goods which may lead to a
    • very large explosion,
    • large explosion or a
    • large toxic release;
    • Dangerous Goods restricted in tunnel category B,

D

  • Restriction for Dangerous Goods which may lead to a
    • very large explosion,
    • large explosion,
    • large toxic release or
    • large fire;
    • Dangerous Goods restricted in tunnel category C,

E

  • Restriction for all Dangerous Goods other than UN Nos. 2919, 3291, 3331, 3359 and 3373.

Tunnel restrictions (ADR 2011, 8.6.4)

Tunnel restriction code
of total load
Restrictions
 ─ Passage allowed through all tunnels
(an "A" Tunnel)
B Passage forbidden through tunnels of category B, C, D & E
B1000C Carriage where the total net explosive mass per vehicle:

  • exceeds 1000kg, passage forbidden through tunnels of category B, C, D & E
  • under 1000kg, passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D & E
B/D Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category B, C, D & E;
Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D & E
B/E Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category B, C, D & E;
Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D & E
C Passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D & E
C5000D Carriage where the total net explosive mass per vehicle:

  • exceeds 5000 kg: passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D & E;
  • under 5000kg: passage forbidden through tunnels of category D & E
C/D Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D & E;
Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D & E
C/E Tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category C, D & E;
Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category E
D Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D & E
D/E Bulk or tank carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category D & E
Other carriage: Passage forbidden through tunnels of category E
E Passage forbidden through tunnels of category E