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New support for ship-to-shore code

PRESSURE ON the Government to fund a new design code for ship-to- shore walkways has intensified following a report from research group CIRIA.

The preliminary CIRIA report, Safety in ports - ship-to-shore linkspans and walkways, recommends that a new section of the existing British Standard on maritime structures should be 'drafted and published speedily'. This conclusion supports previous recommendations from the ICE (NCE 28 January).

ICE lobbying has so far failed to persuade the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions to put up the estimated £60-100,000 needed to produce the new Part 8 to BS6349.

DETR officials refused to act until the CIRIA report was available, but now the ICE is renewing the pressure.

'We have written again to the DETR pointing out that CIRIA has given unequivocal backing to our position,' ICE Past President David Green said this week. 'We hope they will reconsider their decision, especially in the light of CIRIA's comment that it is 'unfortunate' that the funding has not been forthcoming.'

Demands for an extension to BS6349 followed the fatal Ramsgate walkway collapse in September 1994.

The DETR has also said it might reject any CIRIA recommendation in favour of an extended BS6349 and instead back a new Eurocode. But former British Standard marine codes drafting committee member Donald Evans said CIRIA had made it very clear that the only realistic way of achieving an appropriate Eurocode was to start with BS6349.

'CIRIA is quite right to say that the production of Part 8 would assist the production of a European standard,' he added. 'There is no money in Europe to fund a new standard from scratch - but a comprehensive BS6349 would attract widespread backing as the basis of a new Eurocode - and it would cost very little extra to convert it.'

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