I'm driving from Portlaoise to Belfast on Friday evening. How much of a delay am I looking at between the N7/M50 interchange and the Westlink toll bridge(hitting the bridge sometime between 4pm and 7pm)
Does anybody know approx driving time from Portlaoise-Belfast. I see the AA have it at just over 3 hrs, this sounds a bit optimistic, imho
It's about a 3 hour trip in the dead of night, after that you're in the lap of the gods.
You'll be running against the Friday Exodus, so you'll get to Newlands Cross/the Mad Cow Roundabout nicely under an hour (depending what's going on that day with all the road works on the dual carriageway).
You're going to be hitting the M50 and the toll bridge at about the worst possible time, and that's where all calculations become guesses.
You could get lucky and breeze through (relatively!), or you could get the feeling you'll be spending the rest of your life there.
Once you get out past the airport, it's a handy 2 hours.
Would you not try Portlaoise, Tullamore, Kinegad, Navan, Ardee, Dundalk, Belfast?
I'd say the little bit extra driving would more than compensate for sitting in traffic. At least you'll be moving all the time and the roads aren't too bad.
Cheers for the feedback guys.
I'm considering Bluetonic's route.
Does anybody do Portlaoise-Belfast know whether this is a more sensible route given the day and time?
I travel up there (well about 20 miles from Belfast) every month from Portlaoise and depending on times and days travel either the dublin route or the mullingar route.
Mullingar route will take you 3 1/2 hours, it is a good drive but with lots of winding roads. If your caught behind a truck it is very frustrating.
The dublin route is great cuts the drive down to 3 hours with all the new motorways, just put the music on loud and enjoy the drive. However i would recommend giving the city a miss unless you can get through the Toll before 4pm.
thanks for the info. Can you give me your route via Mullingar. It seems a bit different to the one shown earlier
Via Mullingar means an extra hour of road time, saves about €3.40 in tolls, but extra wear and tear on both the car and your. Instead of 60% of your journey being on Motorways, its 5%.
Overall I think the motorway is safer and better, you are unlikely to loose an hour on the tolls. And if you want stop in Drogheda for a break and avoid the toll.
Not Via Mullingar
I don't mind the tolls but I don't want to be sitting on M50 for 40 mins between N7 junction and toll bridge.
Once through westlink does the traffic ease?
Edit: viamichelin is a great site.
I don't think you can avoid the tolls by stopping in Drogheda - there are toll booths on the slips to prevent this. If you stop for less than three hours you don't hve to pay the tolls twice, though.
How does that work?
Here's the NRA's glossy leaflet- http://www.nra.ie/News/DownloadableDocumentation/d849.PDF (Acrobat PDF file- 523KB)
A little snippet from it-
There are three main interchanges for traffic to/from Drogheda. The first is the "Drogheda South" interchange (it probably has a more official name) for traffic to/from Julianstown and Drogheda - this one is south of the toll plaza. The next one is the Donore Road interchange - I'm pretty sure this is north of the main toll plaza but south of the river Boyne. There are toll booths on the slip roads at this interchange. The third one is the Mell interchange which is north of the river. You can get on the motorway here and head north without paying a toll. (I suppose the toll is really for crossing the bridge).
I'd imagine what Victor meant was that Jackie should get off the motorway at the Drogheda South interchange, head into Drogheda and have a cup of tea and a snooze, then drive through Drogheda to the Mell interchange and head north.
Dundalk can be a nightmare so this is avoiding it.
Portlaoise-N80-Tullamore-N52-Kilbeggan-N6-Kinneagad-N6-Clonard-Just after you enter the 80KPH zone, take First Right (road is gap between two house)-Longwood-Trim-Navan-N51-Slane-N51-Edge of Drogheda (Mell)-Onto M1(north) No Tolls-N1-Dundalk-N1-A1-Newry.
Route 1 is what I took last thursday from Tullamore, Note Ardee was in bits traffic wise, took ages to get through. Route two would be my return route at non busy times of the day/night.
Use the AAroadwatch routing, using via's to work out distances, times will be off cos it's friday traffic.
As I'm going with the wife and kids I think I'll take the statistically safer route and use the N7/M50/M1 combination.
I know it's probably difficult with the kids and their sleeping patterns, etc., but try and time your return from Belfast so that you are crossing the bridge at Drogheda at dusk or after dark when the bridge is lit up. It really is a treat.