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What is the Republic's Best Motorway?

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  • 04-04-2009 8:47pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭


    Select your choice by considering the motorway's overall drivability, engineering, alignment, surfacing, aesthetics; in other words, the whole package. I realise it's a bit soon to conduct this poll (especially for the M9), while we'll soon have an M18 too. But, as things currently stand, which one is Ireland's best motorway?

    Overall, which one of the following is the Republic's best motorway 94 votes

    M1
    0%
    M4
    35%
    GonzoSamsonStarkdmeehancorm500L1011neilmNuttzzhighdefpositronmurphaphquad_redcorgjimJupiterKidmikemacfaigssdanseoAORjumpymunky 33 votes
    M6
    13%
    jd_Kaiser_HolstenjmkennedyieIce87Amtmanns_carnagejrarbobcar61bg07View ProfilespuncyRawr 13 votes
    M7
    8%
    GerardKeatingdubhthachhamsterboycarlfleming[Deleted User]flaziodruskKevR 8 votes
    M8
    18%
    BigConDannoxabidelta_bravomysteriousLimerick Dudedfx-Run_to_da_hillsTheInquisitorDeedsieJabberflyTech3richardjjdHeroditasBluntGuyG_Rsneem-man 17 votes
    M9
    11%
    Washout1huge1fitzgesequitepossiblypatrickcDavytrellheimchildoforpheusAugustusMaximusHoochTatterdemallion 11 votes
    M11
    2%
    testicleroad_high 2 votes
    M50
    2%
    bazzer06Pablo Sanchez 2 votes
    M32 (added afterwards)
    8%
    TarabusesGuy:IncognitoCool Mo DAarddarkman2dublinheadTerrontressDante 8 votes


«1

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23,316 ✭✭✭✭amacachi


    M1.

    Not really, some very dodgy bits on it. Haven't been on any others enough to have noticed much about them alas.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭Rawr


    M6
    I'm voting M4. But that is mostly my very biased opinion, myself hailing from North Kildare :D

    Also I remember what it was like going westward before the M4 existed. Toll or no-toll, it's a major improvement.
    Overall, good surface throughout (to the best of my memory), seems to look ok, all-in-all a good motorway in my opinion.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 8,632 ✭✭✭darkman2


    M32 (added afterwards)
    Where is the M3, M18 and M21? And what about the M32 and M2? Stop selling the network short:P

    The best motorways are around Dublin of course...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    M6
    Rawr wrote: »
    I'm voting M4. But that is mostly my very biased opinion, myself hailing from North Kildare :D

    I was hoping for some objectivity here!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,797 ✭✭✭bobcar61


    M6
    darkman2 wrote: »
    Where is the M3, M18 and M21? And what about the M32 and M2?

    Are they even built yet?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    M6
    It's the M4 for me. I am extremely impressed with this road's straight alignment, its smooth non-undulating surface, its nicely planted verges, and its broad toll plaza.

    The M1 is an excellent road, and I had a tough time choosing between it and the M4. It is very nicely planted in places, and the Boyne Bridge is an awesome landmark. It's not quite as straight as the M4, however.

    The M6 is also an excellent road, though you do get a few undulations (common to almost all recent schemes) on the Athlone to Kilbeggan element. The M6 is also extremely well planted, and should be very aesthetically pleasing after the trees mature. The Athlone Bypass will be a major blot on the M6's CV when it is all completed, however.

    The M9 is...short. Too short to make a judgement on really, but because it exists I had to include it.

    The M50: Horrible, and very badly signed. Perhaps when the upgrade works are done it will be a pleasure to drive, but I doubt it.

    The M8: is largely excellent, with a few exceptions, namely the southern quarter of the Cashel to Mitchelstown scheme and the appallingly maintained Cashel Bypass. In terms of scenery, however, this route takes some beating. (It's April and the dead brown weedy grass has been replaced with lush green. It looked SUPER today under a blue sky, with two stunning mountain ranges on both sides.)

    The M7: is excellent in many ways, particularly the Portlaoise Bypass (in terms of landscaping) up to, but not including, the Newbridge and Naas Bypasses, which are marred by ugly overbridges and a deteriorating surface, which becomes poor for a motorway towards the M9 interchange. Signage needs to be updated too.

    The M11: this one I know very little about. It'd be unfair to comment.

    But, one thing they all need are Service Areas. I had to leave the M4 and head in to Kilcock to take a break today. It's a ridiculous situation.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 23,316 ✭✭✭✭amacachi


    Furet wrote: »
    The M1 is an excellent road, and I had a tough time choosing between it and the M4. It is very nicely planted in places, and the Boyne Bridge is an awesome landmark. It's not quite as straight as the M4, however.

    Mostly let down by the Balbriggan by-pass part. Poor drainage with the odd flash flood, and somehow dirty-looking grass in the centre. And constant hills and bends too.
    I think I recall the Dundalk by-pass being poor too. The sides were just heaped up soil. May have changed now, been a while since I was on it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,733 ✭✭✭✭corktina


    slow day is it?:confused:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    M6
    corktina wrote: »
    slow day is it?:confused:

    I'm sorry. I thought this forum was about commuting and transport in Ireland. Silly me.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,133 ✭✭✭mysterious


    M8
    Well my opinions is based on which route is the most interesting to drive on. It would be the M7, or M4. There are are oldest motorways. The M1 Is just horrible and boring. It's really boring and straight for most of it's lenght. Just never enjoyed that road at all:o.

    I love the M7 all the way up till the Naas bypass. The Naas bypass bridges are just an ugly sight! The Curragh is just a magnifecent plot where the motorway glides by. Spectacular in my opinon. The Monasterevin bypass is the most boring part of this section.

    The route I'm looking forward to drive on is the Nenagh to Limerick section. I hear the views are meant to be spectacular and quite unique. Since the altitude rises and lowers for alot of it. Passes the Silvermine mountains and a bog at Birdhill. It also has a viaduct almost comparable to the Blackwater valley at Fermoy. The motorway is meant to rise well over that stretch at the M7 like Fermoy.

    The N18, is also interesting since it's one of Ireland's first DC, and is quite different to most modern motorways. Since the Carriegways are well separated. Reminds me like American motorways kinda with the Wide median. The DC itself is quite windy and hilly in parts up to Shannon. Love the Newmarket on fergue bypass too. It has one of Irelands few underbridge type interchanges, where the N18 rises over and the off/on ramps go down to meet the road. There is not many of these. The only ones I have seen, are the ones on the M1 and the M50/N2 Interchange. Also I like the Steel barriers used here, the New market fergus bypass was the first bypass to have proper central barriers installed, around the time of the much heated commotion with the NRAs record on lack of safety barriers on it's motorways. After this the steel barriers were dropped. For cable wires, and now again replaced for the jersey barriers. I must say I prefer these barriers than the cable wires. The cable wires just look like sucicide to me whoever hits them in flesh!

    I haven't been on the new M8 sections yet. But some parts are intersting, especially around The galtee mountains up to Cashel. The Fermoy bypass is just awfully boring, I don't know what it is that makes it so boring. The only sight that makes this section interesting is the Blackwater viaduct. The Glamire bypass is ok, but always seemed rather quiet whenever I was on it. I'd say it's busier now since all the recent motorway openings further North now.

    On a side note, I do miss some of our finest national primary routes. I will miss them more when they are detrunked. I love the old N7 and N8. My favourite part of the N7 is all of it. It just has character and some history. It's officially the oldest primary route in the country. The N8 between Cahir and Cashel is also another favourite spot of mine. The scenery there in the summer is really memorable.

    The N24 is also another hidden gem IMO..:)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    M6
    mysterious wrote: »
    The route I'm looking forward to drive on is the Nenagh to Limerick section. I hear the views are meant to be spectacular and quite unique. Since the altitude rises and lowers for alot of it. Passes the Silvermine mountains and a bog at Birdhill. It also has a viaduct almost comparable to the Blackwater valley at Fermoy. The motorway is meant to rise well over that stretch at the M[7 8] like Fermoy.

    I'm also really looking forward to that section. It will be stunning (so long as it's nicely landscaped too).
    The N18, is also interesting since it's one of Ireland's first DC, and is quite different to most modern motorways. Since the Carriegways are well separated. Reminds me like American motorways kinda with the Wide median.

    Yes, it is almost American, which is a good thing in my book. Very nice stretch.
    The Fermoy bypass is just awfully boring, I don't know what it is that makes it so boring. The only sight that makes this section interesting is the Blackwater viaduct. The Glamire bypass is ok, but always seemed rather quiet whenever I was on it. I'd say it's busier now since all the recent motorway openings further North now.

    You're actually totally right about the Fermoy Bypass now that I think of it. It's just...dreary. I am always happy when I clear it; the same goes for the Watergrasshill Bypass. It's just not pleasant to drive on aesthetically. The Glanmire Bypass is very well built and planted, and impressive all round, but you're right, it seems strangely quiet. Though according to the NRA traffic counters it's the busiest part of the N8!
    The N24 is also another hidden gem IMO..:)

    In that case you'd love the N62 between Athlone and Birr. One of the nicest routes in the country - though you have to drive very carefully.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,722 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    M4
    M1; in terms of time its saved me over the years compared to what crawling along the Swords bypass, through Balbriggan, etc would have been. Also its relatively low toll with (when operational!) pass through lanes for tags that you can do 70km/h on easily.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy


    M8
    Well you'd think I be naturally inclined to say M8, but my favourite is the M7. It is a very straight stretch, and bar the inconsistent signage and (as mysterious mentioned) the hideously ugly Naas Bypass overbridges (and outdated telephones), it is a beautiful stretch to drive. I don't quite know why. Maybe the wide-median is a refreshing experience when you're used to driving with that ugly concrete barrier stretching for miles.

    The M8 should be my favourite motorway, but it is marred in so many ways. The Fermoy Bypass is dreary, Cashel-Mitchelstown looks horrible and is incredibly twisty and bumpy between J11 - J12 and Cashel-Cullahill, while being a lovely drive, has nothing all that special going for it.

    The M1 is another lovely road, as is the M4. Too early to form a solid opinion on the M9. I didn't particularly enjoy the Carlow Bypass, but the Kilcullen section is nice enough (although the most interesting thing you see is electricity pylons!)

    The M50 wins hands-down the worst motorway in Ireland. I had the displeasure of trying to navigate my way around the Red-Cow concrete mess. It is utterly and completely confusing. Signage is provided only moments before the actual interchange, making it a frantic rush to get into the right lane (which wasn't the most obvious one in my case) in heavy traffic. Provided you get through without a gantry collapsing on you, you soon learn that the surfacing is horrible, the toll signage isn't clear enough (i.e I didn't even know when I'd been through the toll) and it's a very claustrophobic experience in parts (especially between J7 - J6 in heavy traffic). I don't like it. :mad:

    If we were to bring non-motorway DCs into the equation, then the Glanmire Bypass is certainly a contender for my favourite stretch of DC, with all 2+1 roads as my least favourites.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    M6
    BluntGuy wrote: »
    Well you'd think I be naturally inclined to say M8, but my favourite is the M7. It is a very straight stretch, and bar the inconsistent signage and (and mysterious mentioned) the hideously ugly Naas Bypass overbridges (and outdated telephones), it is a beautiful stretch to drive. I don't quite know why. Maybe the wide-median is a freshing experience when you're used to driving with that ugly concrete barrier stretching for miles.

    That has a lot to do with it. But also landscaping. The Watergrasshill Bypass could be lovely, but it's barren and bleak because nothing was planted along it. The M7 and M4 have excellent birch, willow and pine woodlands planted along them.
    The M50 wins hands-down the worst motorway in Ireland. I had the displeasure of trying to navigate my way around the Red-Cow concrete mess. It is utterly and completely confusing. Signage is provided only moments before the actual interchange, making it a frantic rush to get into the right lane (which wasn't the most obvious one in my case) in heavy traffic. Provided you get through without a gantry collapsing on you, you soon learn that the surfacing is horrible, the toll signage isn't clear enough (i.e I didn't even know when I'd been through the toll) and it's a very claustrophobic experience in parts (especially between J7 - J6 in heavy traffic). I don't like it. :mad:

    My experience too. Woeful signage, absolutely terrible. I took a wrong turn on it today even though I did exactly what the signage asked me to do. I know plenty of other people who've had similar experiences.
    If we were to bring non-motorway DCs into the equation, then the Glanmire Bypass is certainly a contender for my favourite stretch of DC,

    I think I know why this is so quiet: it has remained a perfectly protected interurban route with minimal commuter traffic on it. Its stark topography has prevented the development of warehouses and retail parks anywhere along it, while the commuter belt has grown instead along the old R639 (Glanmire, Sallybrook), leaving the GB as an almost purely long-haul route.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy


    M8
    Furet wrote: »
    That has a lot to do with it. But also landscaping. The Watergrasshill Bypass could be lovely, but it's barren and bleak because nothing was planted along it. The M7 and M4 have excellent birch, willow and pine woodlands planted along them.

    Yes, the M7 looks very nice throughout, with quite a few unique features. My favourite part is the cutting with the ornaments on it.

    My experience too. Woeful signage, absolutely terrible. I took a wrong turn on it today even though I did exactly what the signage asked me to do. I know plenty of other people who've had similar experiences.

    The signage is uniformally awful on the M50. You get the complete package of crappiness: motorway ahead signs halfway down slip-roads, "start of motorway reg" signage with the wrong font, gantries with wrong road numbers, in the wrong place, not present when needed etc.

    It's an absolute disaster. And lest we forget the one-panel-per-lane signage that blighted parts of the M50 back in 2005.

    Though it must be said, even with all these problems, at least traffic moves on the upgraded parts of the M50. But I seldom found myself doing the 100 km/h limit.


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 11,657 Mod ✭✭✭✭icdg


    It's either the M4 or M7 for me. The M7 for its lack of a toll plaza (yet) but almost the entire motorway seems to be on a curve. The M4 is very nice to drive and still has the 1990s motorway signage for its entire lenght (no Next Exits and not one cantilever to be seen, although one will go up at J5 shortly).

    I must point out the caveat that I have never driven the M8, and have only been on the Fermoy bypass section once, as a passenger. Looked very senic though.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 5,027 Mod ✭✭✭✭G_R


    M8
    i'd have to say the m7 from portlaoise up as far as newbridge (after that is horrible as has been said before). I dont know why, i cant explain it but its just much nicer to drive than, for example the M8, which is just really really boring. Prob something to do with the concrete barrier.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    M6
    I'm not surprised that the Ms 1, 4, and 7 are doing so well; I'm a bit disappointed that the M8 is faring so poorly (I blame South Tipp Co Co, Direct Route and Cork County Council for not landscaping substantial sections of this AT ALL); and I thought the M6 to Athlone would do a bit better too. Motorways look their best in May and June when the sides are a lush green. Drive the M8 on a clear day next month and I guarantee that most people will consider it the most scenic route. Also, is the M11 really that bad? And who added the M32? A bit facetious surely?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭Tech3


    M8
    Motorway - M7

    Dual Carriageway - N18 outside Limerick

    I have to agree with Mysterious the N18 is a different dual carriageway to any you would see in the country. Wide mean and a footpath on some parts of the hard shoulder heading southbound!! Access also on some parts of the median if you want to do a nice U turn!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy


    M8
    Furet wrote: »
    Motorways look their best in May and June when the sides are a lush green. Drive the M8 on a clear day next month and I guarantee that most people will consider it the most scenic route. Also, is the M11 really that bad? And who added the M32? A bit facetious surely?

    Not the M8 Cashel-Mitchelstown sadly... :p

    The M8 is scenic though:

    3297729255_82ae32d796.jpg

    Were it not for the problems you mentioned it'd probably be higher up in this poll.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,779 ✭✭✭Carawaystick


    the m11's only about 6km long, and about a third of that is part of the M50 junction. It's poorly designed, the exit and entrance slips at the southern ends are below the standard of modern dual carriageway(short because of a bridge foundation and narrow lanes)

    The N11's a bit better, going through the Glen of the Downs and the views of the sea from the top of the Newtown bypass and the top of Rathnew hill.

    The maybush was in full bloom today in the sun, I like it for the bright cheery yellow colour it brings.

    I liked the bit of the M8 in a large cutting, during the week I drove down it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,464 ✭✭✭✭Alun


    The maybush was in full bloom today in the sun, I like it for the bright cheery yellow colour it brings.
    OT I know, but isn't "may bush" whitethorn (aka hawthorn) with white flowers? If it's yellow then aren't you talking about gorse (aka furze)?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,579 ✭✭✭kingshankly


    M4
    id have to go for the m1 being from dundalk it has brought dublin closer(maybe thats a bad thing)remember going to dublin airport years ago took about 2 hours going through castlebellingham,dunleer,drogheda(disaster)balbrigan(often spent a day there if two lorries met) then all them roundabouts on the dual carriageway.
    now its 35 minutes:)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    M6
    Alun wrote: »
    OT I know, but isn't "may bush" whitethorn (aka hawthorn) with white flowers? If it's yellow then aren't you talking about gorse (aka furze)?

    Gorse/furze has a yellow flower. It is blooming now and will continue to do so into next month. It's a natural coloniser of embankments and spreads rapidly. Whitethorn, or, more properly, hawthorn, flowers abundantly in May and has red berries in October. Blackthorn, which produces the sloe berry, has white flowers and blooms in late February and March.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    M6
    Also, could it be that most people are voting for their 'own' motorway, so to speak? ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,971 ✭✭✭Holsten


    M6
    Yep.. haha.

    M4 gets used daily... the others... well, never.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,407 ✭✭✭✭road_high


    M11
    Furet wrote: »
    Also, could it be that most people are voting for their 'own' motorway, so to speak? ;)

    Yes........M9 all the way for me :p


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 ✭✭✭DWCommuter


    M4
    M1

    Ive driven on them all and this is the Mammy of all our motorways built and still to be built.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,722 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    M4
    Furet wrote: »
    Also, could it be that most people are voting for their 'own' motorway, so to speak? ;)

    "My" motorway is the M4, even down to having cycled it as a kid before it opened and I voted for another one...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,284 ✭✭✭D.L.R.


    M4
    Have to go M1 seeing as its our only actual complete motorway. The new M50 is too bumpy to get the prize, a rushed job is not a proper job.

    Honorary mention for the M8, if the poll was for construction speed it would win hands down. And whoever added M32, you're being WAY too anal! ;)


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