Around 40% of operational tunnels across Europe will not be ready to meet EU tunnel safety rules when they come into effect in 2014, according to a EuroTAP study.

The study, which examined 26 major tunnels in 13 European countries, said 19% of tunnels lack appropriate lighting and in-tunnel traffic radio reception conditions.

Other safety deficiencies noted by the study include inadequate breathing equipment for fire fighters and a lack of tunnel loudspeakers.

The study also raised concerns about missing hydrants and information displays at portals, the lack of barriers to close the tunnel, dark tunnel walls and insufficient escape route signs.

France’s double-deck Duplex Tunnel near Paris and Iceland’s Hvalfjörður tunnel were named as having the best and worst safety features respectively among the tested tunnels.

The EU Tunnel Directive, which sets the minimum safety requirements for tunnels on trans-European road networks, was adopted in 2004 to improve the safety of all motorists.