Road Tunnels Manual

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7.3. Safety recesses

Most road tunnels have emergency stations located at intervals along their length, typically equipped with emergency telephones and portable fire extinguishers (and sometimes fire hoses), to be used by tunnel users in case of breakdowns or incidents.

There is great variety in the housing and location of these emergency stations, ranging from simple boxes attached to the tunnel wall to recesses or rooms with or without doors for separation from the traffic tubes.Recesses allow the occupants of broken down vehicles to move away from the carriageway and minimise the risk of being struck by moving traffic.

To prevent feelings of claustrophobia within enclosed emergency stations the use of appropriately specified glass door panes is recommended. A good alternative is to avoid doors and to guarantee good voice communication by means of noise cancellation technology.

The Technical Report 2008R17: "Human factors and road tunnel safety regarding users"  considers the human factors associated with the design of such facilities, which need to be highly conspicuous and identified by clear signs.

The equipment provided at emergency stations is discussed in Chapter Equipment and systems.

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