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N8/N25/N40 - Dunkettle Interchange [open to traffic]

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,152 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl


    I agree with you I'm only trying to make sense of what looks like a bad decision!



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,462 ✭✭✭FishOnABike


    Agreed. It seems the only people who don't see that the current signage is poor are those responsible for putting it up in the first place.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,049 ✭✭✭niloc1951


    God forbid that a person whose wages are paid from the public purse should admit to getting something wrong.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,572 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    The problem is simple - Dublin traffic needs to exit right, but is being mistakenly directed into the left lane. Here’s my two hours of thinking about this yesterday. It’s actually a nasty thing to try to produce signage for, as there’s a right-diverge, which is an exceptional thing and needs to be called out better than the current signs do it.

    On approach, there’s too much information, and there’s a misdirect that could send drivers for Cork up the Tunnel escape lane. Here’s the existing sign:

    Really, all that drivers need to know here is which lane to be in. To do this properly needs a slightly taller gantry sign on the approach to the tunnel, but the resulting sign area will be narrower, and it points only to the two traffic lanes - no danger of anyone taking the escape lane by accident, thinking it will bring them to Cork.

    The existing sign misdirects Little Island traffic, which will have a much easier passage through the interchange if it comes out of the tunnel in the left lane. I’ve had to sacrifice the information that Waterford traffic can actually be in either lane for the sake of simplicity, but the right lane is probably a better choice here, to balance the use of the tunnel lanes. And anyway, local drivers will learn the truth soon enough, and they’re not the audience anyway: road signage is for drivers who’ve never been here before.


    At exit from the tunnel, the existing signs give technically wrong instructions. The use of diagonal arrows here for Cork is flat out incorrect: panels with this arrow type are supposed to hang over the start of a diverging lane, but there there is no diverging lane at this point for either option. Luckily, drivers aren’t really aware of what this kind of sign means, otherwise you’d see more people entering the yellow area to the left - which pinches down to about 0.5 metres before the actual exit lane starts. The “DUBLIN” panel is confusing because sign is situated just at the emergency median break, it could result in drivers accidentally steering into that area by mistake - I think it’s actually a blessing that its shape and positioning makes it hard to see, but the real problem here is that “DUBLIN” spans two lanes, which sets drivers up for a nasty surprise just 100 metres down the road...


    Here’s my suggested change - same area, but just two signage boards:

    I know the combination of a lane-arrow and an "exit ahead" upward right arrow on the blue patch is non-standard, but I think it conveys the meaning well: “stay in this lane, you will exit to right”. Changing the DUBLIN board from long and flat to more square also visually ties it to the actual lane-diverge sign immediately down the road from it: the driver now has a trail of “blue square” to follow in order to reach the motorway, which the previous sign design didn’t provide.

    On a side note, there’s nothing in the signage manual about patching local (black on white) destinations on national-road gantry signage. I do not believe “LITTLE ISLAND” should be in a white patch either here or on the approach sign. I’ve preserved it because the following signs use it too, but I’m not sure it’s helpful.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,256 ✭✭✭Fabio


    Your ones look far better and are way easier to read.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,395 ✭✭✭Shedite27


    Yeah when you think of it, the people taking the left after the tunnel (Tivoli) need to take the similar level of action as those taking the right out of the tunnel (Dublin), but it's signposted very differently



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,049 ✭✭✭niloc1951


    KrisW1001, you're absolutely spot on, it beggars believe that the team in TII responsible for the signs couldn't see what you can see.

    TII need you as post completion quality reviewer



  • Registered Users Posts: 756 ✭✭✭Jayuu


    The problem for me with the sign is that it is trying to do too much as well as being badly laid out.

    Really all it should be doing is making sure that Dublin bound traffic is in the right hand lane. The bi-directional sign further on that you can see in KrisW101's image should then do the work to get the Dublin traffic to turn off right on to the M8.

    What is frustrating about this is that we have examples of this currently on our roads. This is at the northern end of the M50 where the M1 splits off. On the two lanes on the right hand side both will take you to the City Centre and Dublin Port. Howver those heading on the R132 to go toward Malahide must move into the right hand lane because the exit is off to the right. Further on the lane splits again and at that point the Malahide bound traffic is given its own sign. It's simple and it's clear.

    This sign is also probably easier to read because there aren't a multiplicy of colours which I think adds to the level of confusion. It also omits the road numbers on the right-hand sign for space reasons.

    I have to say that I find the non-motorway signs with their insistence of using lots of colour splashing for road types very confusing. Fine if you want to colour code the route number but leave the main background in the one colour as we do on the motorway signage.

    This would be my proposal for the sign before the split similar to the one above. This is clear and concise and those heading to Dublin would be very clear on what lane they should be in.

    Note: For language purists my software wouldn't allow me to put in the fadas on the Irish for "Oileán" and "Áth".

    Post edited by Jayuu on


  • Registered Users Posts: 756 ✭✭✭Jayuu


    Actually looking at base image again there's probably an even simpler solution which is just to square off the top blue M8 splash, put the motorway symbol, the M8 designation and the arrow on the first line and then put "Áth Cliath / Dublin" on the second line. Then place this square sign over the right hand lane only. Something akin to this structure.

    Post edited by Jayuu on


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,572 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    The reason the M50 gantry hasn't got road numbers on the right panel isn't to save space. Route numbers only appear on the bottom of these lane signs if the route will change. Taking the left lanes means joining M1, so that's indicated; staying right means staying on M50 so no route number is shown.

    The Dunkettle gantries have route numbers on each panel because N40 terminates north of the tunnel, which means that every onward destination is on a new route.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,049 ✭✭✭niloc1951


    Call me an old sceptic if you wish, but I can’t see those responsible for the current crap effort with the signs bowing to the knowledge and expertise of 'meddling outsiders '.

    We might as well accept the current signs will be left as they are in perpetuity.



  • Registered Users Posts: 756 ✭✭✭Jayuu


    Fair enough on the route number, I missed that point. However it's still my contention that the Dunkettle sign is trying to do way too much given that most people will see it only for a few seconds. The second solution, putting the blue signage over the right hand lane only, solves that in an instant.



  • Registered Users Posts: 756 ✭✭✭Jayuu


    I don't disagree with your post but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still try to get it sorted. At some point somebody will attempt to cross abruptly from the left hand lane to get to M8 and hit a car in the right-hand lane. It feels like it's only a matter of time.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,049 ✭✭✭niloc1951


    I don't know if the cameras are recorded, but if those responsible for the signs can look back on today's recording between 4:02 pm and 4:06 pm they will see exactly what the issue is.

    In the four minute period there were a half dozen drivers who made the last minute dive across from lane 1 of the N40 to the M8

    One left it so late that the vehicle actually drove across the hatching, nearly colliding with a vehicle which had already entered the slip to the M8 correctly from lane 2 of the N40.



  • Registered Users Posts: 29 EthanL13


    The signage is pretty poor indeed on the N40 towards Dunkettle. It would seem as though they've taken inspiration from this sign towards the Red Cow Interchange in Dublin https://maps.app.goo.gl/2B7AJsai7YKwEidTA , but who knows…

    This was my initial proposition (do ignore the distance hidden by the VMS sign):

    However, after seeing KrisW001's reasoning for placing Little Island on the left, and the type of sign Jayuu has used, I came up with this:

    As for the gantry after exiting the tunnel, all it needs is moving further up in my opinion, and a sign for Dublin M8 (as seen on the "butterfly" gantry at the actual exit) placed next to (rather than on top of) the mainline sign.

    And least of our worries, but a sign like this wouldn't go amiss:

    I believe this was the older way we did it, inspired by the UK (e.g. https://maps.app.goo.gl/4JPFwojMc25deVRy8 ). Nowadays I believe we only use the type of sign as you have initially proposed.

    By the way, has this "Cork/City Centre" mistake since been fixed? https://maps.app.goo.gl/4arQRxLFNpJHa3D96

    Post edited by EthanL13 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭DylanQuestion


    Nope, they said it is intentional

    ” Coming in from the East towards the new Interchange, the lanes diverge in various directions, leading to multiple destinations such as Little Island, Dublin, Limerick, Cork City Centre and other parts of Cork. The terms City Centre and Cork are used to guide motorists towards the correct lane in a timely manner, differentiating between those heading for the City Centre and those heading to other destinations around the City e.g. Douglas, Blackrock, Wilton, etc. so that the term Cork is used more generically than City Centre. This is part of the traffic management strategy developed for signing of the Interchange.”



  • Registered Users Posts: 29 EthanL13


    I had a look again: if you follow all signs Cork, you just end up heading towards the city centre…

    At the moment, heading west on the N25 it shows you should stay left for the N40 Westbound and Dublin, and stay "right" for the time being for Cork. But the exit for "Cork" comes before that of the N40 & Dublin, so then you will suddenly need to cut across lanes.

    These are my proposals for the signs:

    I'm unsure about the placement of the R623 and L2998 route numbers - they could possibly be removed or positioned differently. Glanmire could possibly be substituted for an industrial area symbol, considering the roundabout exit that follows Dunkettle.

    And instead of this "Cork" vs "City Centre" designation, a sign like this should be placed in a prominent position somewhere around the first gantry (other destinations could possibly be added, if necessary).



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭DylanQuestion


    That’s what they use in the other cities. I saw a sign in Galway with City Centre and Galway (East). They do have Cork (Centre) and Cork (West) on the N40, but they refer to the directional entrances to the city centre. For example, it says Cork (Centre) and then Turners Cross and Cork (West) and Ballincollig. Then there are also those black signs that have Cork (North) and Cork (South) on the N27 and N20, but they refer to the north and south of the county. They used to have Cork (East) on the N40 going to the N8, but it now just says Cork. The N25 used to have Cork (Centre) but now it’s this Cork and City Centre mess


    They have it perfect on the M50. When you get to the city boundary, they just use City Centre and then the names of the neighbourhoods. Why they couldn’t just replicate it here I’ll never know. Especially as they now also have started to use Cork to refer to the entire city on the N40 approaches. For example, at the junction of Grange Road and Ballycureen Road signs, one sign says Cork (N40) and another says City Centre (N27). When the N40 is supposed to be a bypass and not for local traffic! It’s literally their jobs to get this thing right..



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,901 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    The tunnel works this week seem to be throwing up traffic lights at the southbound entrance to the tunnel. I'm assuming an upgrade of the tunnel safety barrier system to hold traffic back when things back up? I'm guessing they don't want traffic stopping in the tunnel for obvious reasons.

    My only other thought was ramp metering, but we are well beyond that and in any case, they're in the wrong place for that.



  • Registered Users Posts: 756 ✭✭✭Jayuu


    The thread title still says [under construction]. Is that just an oversight or what else remains to be completed at this stage?



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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,404 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    Fixed.

    It was much easier to change titles pre-Vanilla hence my sluggishness at updating them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,544 ✭✭✭kub


    Has anyone else received this mornings final Dunkettle upgrade email?

    I find it interesting that the existing site portacabin complex is in the process of being dismantled and moved on for the Ringaskiddy M28 project.

    I wonder does this suggest that Sisk have gotten the M28 upgrade contract ?



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 12,062 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cookiemunster


    It does sound like they've gotten it.

    And they're going to use the same mailing list to send updates on the M28 project.



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,354 ✭✭✭✭Mushy


    It's actually weird having seeing it say the final one, was a great project to follow. Seems to be less giving out bout the traffic as well, maybe that's just me blurring it out though.

    Will bow out of m28 updates though, also recently moved away from Cork so it won't impact me. Oddly enough the first time I got to do n25e to m8n was when leaving with a van load of possessions. Who knows, maybe when the m28 is done the vms at little island wont read "ringaskiddy....delays"



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,901 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    Summer holidays, there is very little traffic around. Oh don't worry, delays will be back come September!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,354 ✭✭✭✭Mushy


    Ah but even over end of May into June. Yeah there'll be delays, but doesn't seem as much "what was the point" talk (from people thinking they'll zip through at 60-80kmph 24/7). Did like knowing if there was an incident in a completely different direction that it wouldn't impact on the whole place being jammed up altogether



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,404 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/munster/arid-41436178.html

    Interesting comments about a possible transport hub at the old North Esk freight yard, ala the proposed M20 transport hubs possibly.



  • Registered Users Posts: 360 ✭✭TheSunIsShining


    Mmm. The cynic in me is wondering why they hadn't realised/addressed the issues they are now raising before or during the project they have just completed.....?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,572 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    They have said this all along. It's the press, briefed by local politicians, that ran with the story that the new interchange would "solve" the tailbacks.

    The primary purpose of the Dunkettle Interchange was to stop congestion on one approach from jamming up all approaches to the interchange. It has done that very well. What it could never do is increase the capacity of the Jack Lynch tunnel or N40 beyond, but it has made that traffic flow much smoother than before.

    What we're seeing here is induced demand in action: the interchange has made some routes via Dunkettle and tunnel quicker, so more drivers are taking them.

    We now have an efficient interchange here, but there won't be any widening of the tunnel. The most cost effective way of dealing with traffic congestion now is to give car drivers a better option than driving. Nothing else will work.



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