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Old July 25th, 2014, 03:33 PM   #1321
verreme
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So I had a wonderful Irish week . I drove a lot, though the most scenic drives (especially R756 from Glendalough to Hollywood -what a blast!) were ruined by rain. I managed, though, to get a lot of footage of the pristine Irish motorways and N-roads. Here's the first video:



I'll be uploading two a week. Road infrastructure-wise, Ireland is probably the best country I've been on -motorways reach everywhere, there are no capacity issues and roads are usually in very good condition. Plus, there are few tolls and they were science-fiction cheap for me -I'm used to paying €10 for 100 kilometers of congested motorways. Irish drivers are very calm and prudent, quite a departure from the aggressive driving I'm used to here in mainland Europe.

I hope to have a second Irish experience some day -I left so much to see.
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Old July 26th, 2014, 03:07 PM   #1322
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Originally Posted by verreme View Post
I'll be uploading two a week. Road infrastructure-wise, Ireland is probably the best country I've been on -motorways reach everywhere, there are no capacity issues and roads are usually in very good condition. Plus, there are few tolls and they were science-fiction cheap for me -I'm used to paying €10 for 100 kilometers of congested motorways. Irish drivers are very calm and prudent, quite a departure from the aggressive driving I'm used to here in mainland Europe.

I hope to have a second Irish experience some day -I left so much to see.
Glad you enjoyed your trip! I agree about the driving style -- motoring in Ireland is generally low-stress when compared to many other countries. Having relatively low traffic levels helps. When the network was being built, a decision was made that none of the major inter-urban routes would have more than two tolled sections, and these are typically only €1.90 each for private cars.

The motorways have mostly been built in the last 12 - 15 years, so are generally in very good condition. So far the maintenance appears to be in place to keep them in this shape, so hopefully this can be maintained even in the current financial environment.

It's not true, however, to say that motorways reach everywhere! Sure, if you're trying to get from Dublin to Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Cork, or Waterford, then there's a high-quality network in place. The only missing piece is the regular provision of proper motorway service areas, though this is being addressed at the moment. However, if you're trying to get to Westport, Sligo, or anywhere in the northwest beyond Mullingar or Kells, you're back down to single-carriageway roads, some of them of a pretty poor standard.

Similarly, for journeys not starting or ending in Dublin, the experience can often be patchy. Cork to Limerick, for example, has some poor sections and almost no dual carriageway/motorway (except for short sections near the terminal cities). Limerick to Galway, however, is either motorway or motorway under construction. It's all quite variable.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your videos!

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Old August 4th, 2014, 02:56 PM   #1323
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Glad you enjoyed your trip! I agree about the driving style -- motoring in Ireland is generally low-stress when compared to many other countries. Having relatively low traffic levels helps. When the network was being built, a decision was made that none of the major inter-urban routes would have more than two tolled sections, and these are typically only €1.90 each for private cars.

The motorways have mostly been built in the last 12 - 15 years, so are generally in very good condition. So far the maintenance appears to be in place to keep them in this shape, so hopefully this can be maintained even in the current financial environment.

It's not true, however, to say that motorways reach everywhere! Sure, if you're trying to get from Dublin to Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Cork, or Waterford, then there's a high-quality network in place. The only missing piece is the regular provision of proper motorway service areas, though this is being addressed at the moment. However, if you're trying to get to Westport, Sligo, or anywhere in the northwest beyond Mullingar or Kells, you're back down to single-carriageway roads, some of them of a pretty poor standard.

Similarly, for journeys not starting or ending in Dublin, the experience can often be patchy. Cork to Limerick, for example, has some poor sections and almost no dual carriageway/motorway (except for short sections near the terminal cities). Limerick to Galway, however, is either motorway or motorway under construction. It's all quite variable.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your videos!

/csd
You're right -there are a few missing links, but the country seems to be working to close them. And it's a situation you'll encounter everywhere else in Europe. One of the worst drives I did was N11 in Co. Wicklow. But there was M11 being built right next to it, so I guess it will be way smoother in the near future. The Cork-Limerick route is also substandard, but the country has plans to fix this. All in all, Ireland just needs 2 or 3 more motorways and all important routes will be expressway-standard.

My next 2 videos. First one is Limerick Southern Ring Road, featuring Limerick Tunnel:



And the next one is M4 from Kinnegad (M6 interchange) to Dublin, featuring N4 Lucan bypass, which is one of the finest urban expressways I've driven on.

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Old August 6th, 2014, 07:04 AM   #1324
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It's only in the last 10 years we have a pretty good road network by European standards. Hopefully it's maintained. They have given maintainence of most if not all motorways to private contractors, most of it toll free so i'd be confident they should remain in good nick.

Great videos!

P.S we have a motorway thread in the Ireland forum. I'd happily post your posts there if you don't mind? Or you could yourself.

Thanks again!
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Old August 6th, 2014, 01:24 PM   #1325
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You can post my videos anywhere you want as long as you say they're mine
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Old August 20th, 2014, 03:21 PM   #1326
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Two more videos:





M50 was amazing. I honestly didn't expect such a well-engineered road.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:26 PM   #1327
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I am delighted to see how highly and increasingly evolved our motorway network is. What is next to be built after the Tuam-Gort motorway does anyone know? Surely the motorway to Letterkenny?
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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:28 PM   #1328
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Welcome. Your first post gets your first "like". Took me ages to get from Dublin to Letterkenny and then onto Belfast when I last drove it....
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Old August 24th, 2014, 08:35 PM   #1329
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M11 pics

Folks,

A couple of shots of the M11 taken from this bridge near Wicklow.

1. Looking north, the Irish Sea is visible in the distance.
IMG_2242 by csd75, on Flickr

2. Looking south. Just out of shot after the junction slip road, the motorway section ends. The project to plug the gap between the two southern M11 sections is well underway, and should be completed in 2015.
IMG_2245 by csd75, on Flickr

/csd
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 04:30 PM   #1330
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Here's my last video:



I hope to come back there some day. There's so much stuff I didn't see . Time to save for next summer
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Old October 9th, 2014, 01:01 AM   #1331
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N7 Newlands Cross upgrade

Folks,

The project to grade-separate the junction of the N7 with the R113 at Newlands Cross is proceeding well. There are reports that the overpass will open for cars by the end of this month. This will replace the only set of traffic lights between the M50 and Cork, Limerick, and Galway.

Once this project completes (and assuming you have a toll tag), it will be possible to drive from Hillsborough (outside Belfast on the A1) all the way to Dunkettle (outside Cork) on dual carriageway or motorway standard roads.

The shot below was taken last night from the L1019 overbridge, some 850 metres east of where the new overpass starts. You can see where traffic has been moved to the side to allow construction of the overpass in the middle.

IMG_9381 by csd75, on Flickr

I'll return with an "after" pic when the overpass has opened and is fully lit.

/csd
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Old October 9th, 2014, 02:34 AM   #1332
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Post recession traffic on the M50 Dublin Orbital ( just east of Newlands Cross shown in photo above) has now exceeded 2006 boom time levels with 120k AADT recorded in parts.

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news...-30640715.html

The M50 was largely upgraded from 2 lanes to 4 lanes in 2009 or so. 120k AADT is within the design parameters.....but only just. The M50 cannot be widened any more.
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Old October 9th, 2014, 02:43 PM   #1333
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Post recession traffic on the M50 Dublin Orbital ( just east of Newlands Cross shown in photo above) has now exceeded 2006 boom time levels with 120k AADT recorded in parts.
This was inevitable, but I don't know what they're gonna do about it. I hope they don't start fiddling around with variable tolls.
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Old October 9th, 2014, 04:06 PM   #1334
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120k AADT is within the design parameters.....but only just. The M50 cannot be widened any more.
Weren't there plans for a second bypass of Dublin?

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I hope they don't start fiddling around with variable tolls.
The 'pricing off lower value trips' concept. I don't like it either, infrastructure should be accessible also for less wealthy people. Toll lanes with dynamic pricing are usually very expensive at rush hour.

A bit more acceptable approach is to construct new capacity express lanes with dynamic tolling. This would give motorists more options. They plan to introduce this in Florida.
The downside is that they only work if there is congestion, so it won't help much in reducing overall congestion, it only gives one a chance to buy your way through congestion.
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Old October 10th, 2014, 02:21 PM   #1335
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Weren't there plans for a second bypass of Dublin?
There are still plans for this, but it will be much further out (about 30 km) and won't capture any of the local traffic that uses the road which is most of it.
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Old October 10th, 2014, 05:33 PM   #1336
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There was a vague plan at the same time to move Dublin Port operations up to a point around 30km north of Dublin in 'Bremore' and the motorway would have started at the new port/M1 to Belfast or so.

Both the new port and the Outer Orbital have run into a severe lack of government support and the bankruptcy of the property developer who was part of the consortium. Absent the port it is difficult to justify the plan for the orbital.

It is likely that a lesser grade 2+2 road will be built 20-30km further out, starting well after 2020, and following the N52/N80 road in general and that the small scale outer ring following the N2-N3 road and the R136 will be completed perhaps sooner than 2025
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Old October 11th, 2014, 11:51 PM   #1337
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Aren't there any plans to close M50? I recall reading about it on Wikipedia.
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Old October 12th, 2014, 12:07 AM   #1338
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God No, the country would collapse within a week.

The only plan for the M50 is to widen the remaining SE portion from 2 to perhaps 3 lanes some time in future.

The problem with the M50 is what to do when 4 lanes can no longer carry the traffic. It was largely upgraded from 2 to 4 lanes around 5 years ago and is now carrying more traffic than it ever did in parts, and that at a reduced level of economic activity compared to say 2002-2008. It is already over capacity for a 3+3 at 120k AADT in parts.

With the Irish economy now growing again, at a recent annual rate of 7.7%, the problem could become severe before anything useful is done to relieve the M50. As the late 2000s upgrade was a PPP paid for by shadow tolling any scheme to deliberately drive traffic OFF the road through tolling could end up in a very messy court case with Ferrovial ( who, IIRC, did the job) instead.

The Outer Orbital proposal is the Irish equivalent of the Grand Contournement de Paris, IE slightly too far out to be really useful in my opinion.
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Old October 13th, 2014, 01:50 AM   #1339
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M1/M50 pics

Folks,

Some night time shots of the M1 and M50 in Dublin.

1. Broadmeadows Estuary bridge, between junctions 3 and 4 on the M1.
IMG_9455 by csd75, on Flickr

2. Broadmeadows Estuary bridge.
IMG_9460 by csd75, on Flickr

3. Looking north towards junction 3, Drynham interchange, from Clonshaugh Road overbridge.
IMG_9474 by csd75, on Flickr

4. Looking south towards junction 2, Dublin Airport, from Clonshaugh Road overbridge.
IMG_9475 by csd75, on Flickr

5. Dublin Port Tunnel, northern portals. M50 junction 2.
IMG_9479 by csd75, on Flickr

6. Northern portals of Dublin Port tunnel. Note the DPT operations car, ready for emergencies!
IMG_9484 by csd75, on Flickr

7. Underexposed shot of the northern portals.
IMG_9488 by csd75, on Flickr

8. Another shot of M50 junction 2.
IMG_9489 by csd75, on Flickr

9. Looking towards M50 J3/M1 J1 from M50 J2, just north of the port tunnel.
IMG_9497 by csd75, on Flickr

10. Zoomed version of the previous shot.
IMG_9499 by csd75, on Flickr

/csd
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Old October 13th, 2014, 02:04 AM   #1340
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That car you photographed is probably an armed response unit not a traffic police vehicle. Bit like your Flying Squad in London.

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Folks,

Some night time shots of the M1 and M50 in Dublin.



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