Too many standards (3)

Further to my last post on the un-necessary proliferation of standards (here)  I came across an article by Dr D. O’Cinneide of University College, Cork, Ireland (ref. 1595). In his comments on Ireland’s 2001 NRA highway design standards (whic h are based on the UK’s DMRB documents), Dr. O’Cinneide says:

“A  slight  regret  is  that  the  new  standards  end  the  existence  of  independent  Irish standards. However, maintaining independent standards does not make sense for a small country(own emphasis)

 From another document (ref. 1042), this time from South Africa on low volume sealed roads (LVSR), there is a paragraph which comments on a number of different standards and guidelines from various countries. It says that:

“All the guidelines/manuals listed above are based on different philosophies and make different assumptions or use different criteria for developing designvalues for the various design elements. For example, some guides  give emphasis to safety considerations while others may place emphasis on service level, capacity, comfort or aesthetic values. Not surprisingly, the resulting design values recommended, and their related cost implications, all differ,sometimes quite significantly. Thus, it is essential for the designer to have a thorough understanding of the origin, background and basis of developmentof the design guides or manuals and related design criteria as a basis for adaptation, where necessary, and subsequent judicious application to LVSR situations”.  (own emphasis)


Arguably these quotes  tend to confirm the lack of need for “instant” highway design standards and raise doubts about their validity.


1042 – SADC / SATCC “Guideline on low volume sealed roads”; 2003

1595 – Ireland, Dr D. O’Cinneide”Changes in Geometric Design Standards on Interurban Undivided Roads”, 4th International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design, 2010


About roadnotes

Robert Bartlett is an international consultant with over 30 years of professional experience as a highway and traffic engineer with leading companies and organisations in several countries, including Germany, China (Hong Kong), Qatar and the UK. Specialised in urban studies, transport and the use of GIS, research has included new ideas on subjects such as the study of social justice using GIS, the dimensions of vehicles, and comparative geometrics (highways and transport).
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