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The NRA must be stopped

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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12 ✭✭✭ Cress


    Ren2k7 wrote: »
    The OP should also remember that over the next 10-20 years enormous steps will be taken to get cars to run exclusively on plug in electric power rendering discussion on the environmental impact of cars moot.
    It's not true that electric vehicles will cut the carbon footprint / environmental impact of cars. Claimed reductions in emissions sound impressive until you factor in the carbon emissions from the manufacture of the car itself - something in the region of 40 tonnes. No matter how long you drive an electric car, it will never overcome the massive carbon footprint of manufacture. Thus, you should always drive an old car as long as possible.

    That's not to say that new cars shouldn't be made to meet higher standards, but the problem is the car itself. It has a limited future. The days of private motoring are numbered.
    dubhthach wrote: »
    As far as I know Seán O'Neill's parents are from Connemara.
    Does that make him Irish? Sounds perfectly American to me.

    What about this 1960s fossil, speaking at 12:30 here?: http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0726/nationwide_av.html Where did they get him from? Not Holland anyway. As an Irish person, I feel it's scandalous that individuals are being dragged over here from the World Capital of Unsustainable Transport (USA) to lend us their "expertise" so as we can develop our own 'Interstate highway slum' and the appalling environment it brings. We should be engaging the most up-to-date, 21st century sustainable-transport advice, not recyling relics from the failed North-American, post-war motorised suburban experiment. It's an outrage.

    What's with you regulars on this forum? Do you just reject all criticism of roads or the car society? It's common knowledge that Ireland built too many roads in the boom, soon to be 'ghost roads'. Meath alone has four motorways going through it.

    I put the inititial post in here on the assumption that this forum of Boards was an arena for diverse views / discussion, but it's more like having intruded on a committee meeting of Simi or the AA. The impression is of a smugfest of regulars 'thanking' each other for the pro-roads consensus.

    Ireland became utterly sick with motor car use during the boom. We stopped walking altogther and started taking the car for journeys 2 minutes down the road (bad planning aside). We became that coast-to-coast 'automobile slum'. We laughed at it - 'Ha, ha, isn't this mad? ... traffic everywhere is mental'. But it cannot be continued. It has no future. It's a farcical existence. And many Irish people know this. Levels have fallen off now because of the recession and there's no going back. And the first thing needed is a moratorium on road construction and the winding up of that technically redundant quango, the NRA, which apart from anything else we can't afford anymore.


    *Need it be said that that July '10 RTE Nationwide in the link was a disgraceful piece of television, shamelessly and uncritically lauding unsustainable, futureless road construction up and down the country, and a follow-up letter of complaint about it was rightly published in the Irish Independent.




    Edit - The Foreword from the book 'Car Free Cities' by J.H. Crawford. Although it is about the U.S., the same complete remodelling of society around the car took place and scandalously continues to take place in Ireland:

    56829382.jpg

    Rest of it available here: http://books.google.ie/books?id=MOT_2X1380IC&printsec=frontcover&dq=car+free+cities+jh+crawford&hl=en&ei=YzgaTeaJFobNhAfy86G3Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=car%20free%20cities%20jh%20crawford&f=true


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    Furet wrote: »
    It's worth pointing out that motorways in Ireland aren't built solely on the back of AADT.

    These are also factors:
    • Town bypass provision
    • Improved road geometries
    • Faster journey times
    • More reliable journey times
    • Increased safety by a factor of 10
    • Removal of private accesses along national routes
    • Economic stimulus.
    But to decide where a road should be built AADT is about the only criteria to assess need. Internationally it generally accepted that a minimum of 50,000 aadt is a base figure for motorways; this route would not acheive even half that figure.

    I can't disagree that stimulus is used as a great excuse for most white elephants but Ireland after three years of stimulus is now going down the route of austerity.

    I also agree that private access on National Primary Routes is a complete disaster; I can't remember the exact number of one off houses granted between 1995 and 2005 on the N22 but it was so significant that a relief road needed to built to correct this; where were the NRA given that they are a prescribed body under the NRA act.



    Furet wrote: »
    A agree with SpongeBob that it is a national priority to link Cork with Galway and Derry by motorway - the increased mobility that such a route would bring would stimulate greater internal trade and tourism for starters.


    I'm not convinced; take both the AADT at say Ballindyne and eliminate commuter travel between Tuam and Claregalway and the flimsy reality of just how local this route is in terms of scale becomes very apparent. No doubt logistics route planners ensure that the M50 is avoided at peak hours on distribution runs; ditto N17.

    The purchase of land with expensive money to buy an asset class that is falling for value for multi-year hold is simply unforgivable; there is clear evidence the yield curve is moving higher and no evidence that land markets are stabilising; land prices will continue to fall as long as demand stays on floor; when Doha completes that will depress agricultural values still further.


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


    What is your viable alternative to road transport in Ireland cress? (Please don't say rail.)

    You must understand that our problem as a nation is that a great many of the most important routes in Ireland are still 19th century. The N28, the N20, the N24, the N17, the N22, the A5, the N25. These are not fit for purpose. Once these routes and a limited number of others are upgraded, the clamour here for road building will cease. It is easy to look to Germany and Holland and hanker after the transport systems they have; but their population density is far greater than ours (so they can sustain viable rail networks, whereas we can't). In addition, these countries all invested very heavily in their road networks and are now substantially finished with these investments; they have reached the 'reaping the rewards' stage. We in Ireland have a bit to do before we can finish road-building.

    I certainly do not want to cover the country in motorways; but I do want the most important, strategic routes to be readied for the remainder of the twenty-first century. People will always be mobile; they will always have to get around. Cars have a future for this reason, how ever they will be fuelled.


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


    w2_3vc wrote: »
    [/LIST]But to decide where a road should be built AADT is about the only criteria to assess need. Internationally it generally accepted that a minimum of 50,000 aadt is a base figure for motorways; this route would not acheive even half that figure.

    A two-lane motorway with AADT of 50,000 is very full - I think its capacity is 53,000 AADT. We don't want any of our new two-lane motorways to ever be at 50,000 AADT because they will then require widening, which is an undesirable option.

    The next alternative would be a type 2 dual carriageway, like this. However, type 2 dc reaches capacity at 20,000 AADT and needs to be widened thereafter. So based on current figures a type 2 DC could well suffice for the N17 (and indeed, the Tuam bypass and every improvement to the N17 north of Tuam will be type 2 dc rather than motorway), but south of Tuam, in the long run, a motorway standard road is the best bet. If built, it will never have to be widened again.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    It is currently a two lane road which has no congestion issues outside commuting hours; national traffic fell by 7% last year and you are advocating building a road with over 100% over capacity when the IMF is signing the cheques.....

    A large white elephant that will make the M3 look like a success. Concentrate resources where they are needed, Dublin Underground, FDI grants and route subsidies for more air routes out of Shannon. I know there is an election next year and all parties are setting out their stalls but this project is sheer lunacy.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    Cress wrote: »
    What's with you regulars on this forum? Do you just reject all criticism of roads or the car society? It's common knowledge that Ireland built too many roads in the boom - Meath alone has four motorways going through it.

    If you look through some threads you will see that many of us reject to quite a number of road schemes and the priority of them. I was even against one of those motorways in county Meath. But do you expect us to live in 18th century alignments for the next 20 years. Do you ever think about how many lives these new motorways will save. The main reason road deaths have dramatically dropped in the last few years is due to road improvements driven by the major inter urban motorway network. Also it doesnt take half a day to drive from one of the regional cities to Dublin anymore.
    I put the inititial post in here on the assumption that this forum of Boards was an arena for diverse views / discussion, but it's more like having intruded on a committee meeting of Simi or the AA. The impression is of a smugfest of regulars 'thanking' each other for the pro-roads consensus.

    The main reason we thanked the posts is because it makes common sense that a road scheme of this significance should be and will be built.
    Ireland became utterly sick with motor car use during the boom. We stopped walking altogether and started taking the car for journeys 2 minutes down the road (bad planning aside). We became that coast-to-coast 'automobile slum'. We laughed at it - 'Ha, ha, isn't this mad? ... traffic everywhere is mental' But it cannot be continued. It has no future. It's a farcical existence. And many Irish people know this. Levels have fallen off now because of the recession and there's no going back. And the first thing needed is a moratorium on road construction and the winding up of that technically redundant quango, the NRA.

    I would love to see a statistic to back up your claim that traffic has decreased. Ireland is a car dependent country and always will be. Electric vehicles will be the future of transport in Ireland outside of Dublin and we need a good road network in order for these to work. Public transport should be prioritized in Dublin over the next few years with the Dart Underground and Metro North.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    I would love to see a statistic to back up your claim that traffic has decreased.

    About 2005 when the M3 traffic loads were being taken apart on message boards; all AADT data disapeared from the NRA website having been up for years. It is hard to believe that traffic has not decreased given the net emmigration, fall in employment, fall in construction, drop in retail sales etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    It's a pity that the level of "sock-puppetry" on this thread hasn't dropped as well!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    tech2 wrote: »
    Public transport should be prioritized in Dublin over the next few years with the Dart Underground and Metro North.

    You cannot lump these two projects together; Metro North is an equally sized white elephant to this; it could easily be served by a Luas line but the RPA and government decided they would over-specify the project for reasons unknown. Metro North will not get IMF approval nor should M17 which has less than half its design capacity at a time when money is non-existant and traffic levels falling.


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


    w2_3vc wrote: »
    It is currently a two lane road which has no congestion issues outside commuting hours; national traffic fell by 7% last year and you are advocating building a road with over 100% over capacity when the IMF is signing the cheques.....

    But again, you see you are fixated on AADT and AADT only. Granted, the road is not congested, as in it is not generally bumper to bumper. But the road's geometry greatly restricts overtaking opportunities and greatly increases journey times making them unpredictable, or predictably arduous if you like. It also makes the road a very dangerous prospect from a safety point of view. A new build removes those problems, provides town bypasses, and allows more traffic to use the new road, because people are no longer turned off the route by its general crappiness. AADT will rise gradually if the new build goes ahead, and it will rise because mobility (and therefore trade) will be made easier, and because the new N17 will 'suck' cars from other alternative routes towards it because it will be the easiest, fastest, and safest route to take. You have to think long term. Spending a billion on a motorway is not like spending a billion on public sector wages or on a bank. The resultant infrastructure will have multi-generational utility.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    w2_3vc wrote: »
    About 2005 when the M3 traffic loads were being taken apart on message boards; all AADT data disapeared from the NRA website having been up for years. It is hard to believe that traffic has not decreased given the net emmigration, fall in employment, fall in construction, drop in retail sales etc.

    The M3 is not reaching it's predicted AADT which was estimated levels. A main reason that the levels are not reaching the required AADT is down to toll dodging and using the old N3 road.

    The Limerick Tunnel is also being avoided due to the toll and in droves. The dock rd(main route outside tunnel) is backed up most mornings and evenings at peak time. The AADT would easily be over the required figure if those who toll dodged actually decide to use it.

    This cannot be compared to the proposed new stretch of the M17/M18 which will not be tolled to the users of the road. Instead the government will repay the PPP consortium. This is called shadow tolling.

    Anyway getting back my original statement I was referring to a national route that has traffic on it over the last few years to compare traffic levels. If you check for example the N17 levels are not dropping due to the recession.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    Do you want to know why I insist on objective criteria?
    Double hit for taxpayers as NRA needs €100m bailout on toll roads
    By james– October 8, 2010
    Posted in: News, Transport

    NRA get toll figures wrong by 20 to 30% – but it’s taxpayers that will pay

    - On the M3 traffic is 22% below the penalty payments level

    - Traffic is 26% below the penalty payments level on the Limerick Tunnel

    - Taxpayers face a €100m bill over the life of PPP contracts based on a scenario favourable to the NRA (i.e. traffic growth assumed from 2011)

    - Arrogance and naivety of the NRA shown in toll road contracts

    - NRA continues to use discredited projections in attempting to justify further motorway

    The NRA’s expectation that traffic would grow rapidly has proved hopelessly inaccurate. Figures obtained by PlanBetter, a joint initiative of four environmental organisations – An Taisce, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Irish Environment and Feasta, show that traffic levels on the newly opened M3 and Limerick Tunnel are 20 – 30 per cent below the level at which the NRA must pay penalties to the private companies operating these roads.

    Actual traffic on the M3 is 22 per cent – almost 5,000 vehicles a day – below the level at which penalty payments must be made. Traffic would have to reach 26,250 vehicles a day to avoid penalty payments; the current daily traffic is in or around 21,500.

    Traffic using the Limerick tunnel is 26 per cent (3,500 vehicles) below the penalty fee level. To avoid penalty payments 17,000 need to pass through the tunnel a day; the actual traffic level is around 13,500 vehicles a day.

    According to the environmental organisations, the bill to taxpayers will be at least €100m over the lifetime of the contracts but will be far higher in the event traffic levels remain static or continue to fall in coming years.

    While taxpayers will have to bail out the NRA for its use of widely over-optimistic traffic growth projections, the NRA continues to use these same projections in attempting to justify motorway between Oilgate and Rosslare (N11/N25),* for example. Other sections of motorway/dual carriageway the NRA is attempting to justify based on inaccurate data include: Blarney to Patrickswell (N20), Clontribret to Moybridge (N2), the Ballyvourney motorway (N22), Abbeyfeale to Clonshire (N21), Kilmeaden to Midleton (N25), Ashbourne to Ardee (N2), and Tuam to Letterkenny (N17).

    The NRA’s reputation has been holed below the waterline with these revelations. There has been a 7 per cent fall in traffic over the last two years that the NRA continues to try and ignore. Instead it uses an August 2003 growth multiplier that assumes traffic grows by more than 2 per cent every year. In failing to come clean on traffic levels, the NRA is causing itself further damage. To continue to use such forecasts, which are known to be wrong, could constitute professional misconduct. Contrast the NRA’s projections of never-ending growth with the UK, where transport planners allow for traffic decline in conducting sensitivity analyses.

    Arrogance and naivety led to dreadful contracts

    The NRA’s contracts display an arrogance mixed with naivety. The contracts are naive in that there is no amendment or reset clause. Because the assumed levels have been missed in the opening year, taxpayers are almost certain to be caught for penalty payments in every year. With no way to redress breaches in the year of opening, it doesn’t matter even if traffic growth resumes at the assumed level because the leap required to close the initial gap is just too large.

    Failure of Government to regulate

    The PPP (public private partnership) contracts highlight another failure by Government to regulate. This time a public organisation got wrapped up in the myth of high, endless levels of growth, with the same result as the banks: the public will pay.

    The M3 and Limerick Tunnel contracts are proof, if proof was needed, that penalty clauses based on never-ending growth hang taxpayers out to dry. The public organisations that sign such badly-configured clauses never seem to incur any penalty; all the pain is shouldered by those already hard-pressed.

    It has become increasingly clear that further large-scale road-building at a time of falling traffic is foolhardy. As oil prices rise government needs to prioritise bus investment and help people to make the transition to public transport. A sustainable vision is set out further in the policy note below.

    Policy note: Prioritising cost-effective public transport

    In short, our economic growth and greater use of resources steals from tomorrow in an attempt to preserve yesterday’s way of life. This is particularly evident in attempts to build more and more motorway.

    Government needs to produce revised proposals for cost-effective public transport without delay. The focus must be on Advanced Bus Corridors, enhancing bus routes in Irish cities to the standard enjoyed in France, where Nantes and Rouen have shown the service improvements that can be delivered with thrifty investment.

    Billions can no longer be borrowed for mega-projects, the cost-benefit studies for which were completed based on borrowing at 3 to 4 per cent whereas Ireland now faces interest rates in or around 7 per cent. Moreover, rail tunnelling projects create far fewer jobs compared to bus investment because money is sent abroad to buy tunnel-building equipment and expertise instead of being circulated and re-circulated in local economies.

    The recent move to merge the RPA and NRA is welcome. It must be made explicit that Advanced Bus Corridors are within the remit of the new authority, and that the new entity will proritise their delivery across our cities. In Dublin, as a matter of urgency, a bus corridor needs to be constructed along the north wall to the mouth of the Dublin Port Tunnel in the docklands, with a corresponding corridor at from the northern side of the tunnel to Dublin Airport.

    I am not anti-road, I am not anti-car, I am just sick to death of unviable projects getting built. The IMF is running the country and taking on further debt to construct a motorway that fails objective criteria is part of the problem and far from the solution.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    oh dear...when do the Troll-mines re-open after the Holiday?

    How bizarre that some people would expect to have a sympathetic hearing with claptrap on a Forum such as this, dedicated to road fans


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    Well a report on this cannot be taken seriously when most of it is inaccurate. Also it is known these groups are ultra anti-roads and will make anything up to stop road construction.

    Here is an extract from that article:
    While taxpayers will have to bail out the NRA for its use of widely over-optimistic traffic growth projections, the NRA continues to use these same projections in attempting to justify motorway between Oilgate and Rosslare (N11/N25),* for example. Other sections of motorway/dual carriageway the NRA is attempting to justify based on inaccurate data include: Blarney to Patrickswell (N20), Clontribret to Moybridge (N2), the Ballyvourney motorway (N22), Abbeyfeale to Clonshire (N21), Kilmeaden to Midleton (N25), Ashbourne to Ardee (N2), and Tuam to Letterkenny (N17).

    Lol check the real facts before printing such an article. The motorway/dual carriageway stroke is genius. The fact is type 2 dual carriageway is much cheaper than a type 1 dual carriageway/motorway. A type 2 dual carriageway is close to the cost of a new offline wide single carriageway road.

    So the following would be type 2 dual carriageway(merely like WS2 roads):
    • N2 - Clontribret to Moybridge
    • N22 - Ballyvourney motorway :D lol
    • N21 - Abbeyfeale to Clonshire
    • N17 - Tuam to Letterkenny
    • N2 - Ashbourne to Ardee
    in attempting to justify motorway[/B] between Oilgate and Rosslare

    Wow ultra fail here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    corktina wrote: »
    oh dear...when do the Troll-mines re-open after the Holiday?

    How bizarre that some people would expect to have a sympathetic hearing with claptrap on a Forum such as this, dedicated to road fans


    So which part do you dispute?

    1. That it is unacceptable to build a road 100% over-specified when traffic levels are falling?

    2. That it is is unacceptable to waste expensive money buying land for roads there is no money to build when land values are falling?

    3. That the country is broke and can't afford white elephants?

    4. That the N17 is basically a commuter route with limited national route usage?

    I'd guess you are based in Cork from your name, nice town, what percentage of your national route journeys in 2010 were on the N17?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    tech2 wrote: »
    So the following would be type 2 dual carriageway(merely like WS2 roads):
    • N2 - Clontribret to Moybridge
    • N2 - Ashbourne to Ardee

    The M1 and M3 are no further than 15 miles from the N2 for the vast bulk of the route of the proposed route.

    The fastest way to Derry in recent years has been M1 to Newry, Armagh and then A5 if national routes are the consideration; policy one of Transport 21 was to get more out of existing infrastructure; the bust has made that policy even more sensible.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    w2_3vc wrote: »
    The M1 and M3 are no further than 15 miles from the N2 for the vast bulk of the route of the proposed route.

    The fastest way to Derry in recent years has been M1 to Newry, Armagh and then A5 if national routes are cosidered.

    Thats fine but will you admit the article is clearly wrong in that it mentions motorway required levels when in fact it's not. It is type 2 dual carriageway levels which is 20,000 at max capacity. Required levels for this would be much lower.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    You are probably correct that type 2 DC has a maximum optimimum capacity of 20,000, however many routes operate at levels above optimum and their main point was that unrealistic estimates on two road schemes cost the taxpayer another €100m last year. In fairness to the authors they did flag up that M3 would be a disaster but were told AADT was not the only criteria; well €100m to my mind says it is.

    The beleagured taxpayer needs better analysis and no more white elephants such as M17 or Metro North for that matter.

    Transport 21 reminds me of the 1969 change from T routes to N routes except instead of numbers it was decided that we would have dual carriageways and motorways whether needed or not.

    All land purchases for schemes not through An Bord Pleannala need to be axed immediately and the NRA need to start publishing traffic data again.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    w2_3vc wrote: »
    the NRA need to start publishing traffic data again.

    See this link: here

    Updated to August and shows the N17 has in fact more traffic on it than the counter in 2006.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 185 ✭✭ oharach


    Furet wrote: »
    A two-lane motorway with AADT of 50,000 is very full - I think its capacity is 53,000 AADT.

    The next alternative would be a type 2 dual carriageway, like this. However, type 2 dc reaches capacity at 20,000 AADT and needs to be widened thereafter.

    That isn't quite comparing like for like. According to this NRA presentation the capacity for service level D is 20,000 AADT, and the corresponding figure for motorway is 38,100 AADT.

    Presuming the ultimate capacity of a motorway is 50,000, the corresponding ultimate capacity of a type 2 would be something like 26,200, working purely with percentages.

    If, as some posters seem to state, the traffic is primarily national and not commuter, the traffic is generally spread more evenly throughout the day, and a type 2 could still be appropriate at a higher AADT than on a heavy commuter route, where capacity could be exceeded at peak times.

    I don't think anyone resents the cattle track that is is the N17 being replaced with a safe, decent road. However, it shouldn't be exempt from scrutiny given the scale of the project. I think all posters can understand how someone would be suspicious of the need for a motorway to replace a cattle track.

    Personally, I don't know enough about the growth potential of this route to decide either way, so I'm happy to sit on the fence.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    Thanks for the link your google skills are far superior to mine;

    There are two things that concern me in the data, the fall off in usgae around December and January lead me to the conclusion more than ever that it is commuter route; the recording of a figure of 11,024 in November 2009 certainly eliminates any credence that this is a logistics/trade route.

    Also there are only two readings on the entire route which is about 120kms long, both are on the Galway commuter run. The spike is southbound between 8-10 and north 4-6.

    Growth is negative in each of the last 2 years and there are no readings north of Tuam. I can see far higher priorities for investment elsewhere.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,504 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Cress wrote: »
    Meath alone has four motorways going through it.

    Standard Salafia/TaraWatch twaddle. Meath has one motorway actually serving it fully - the M3. It has two motorways glancing off its extreme edges and one short one terminating in it.

    As it is a county adjoining the capital city it is to be expected that it will have a larger than average number of high capacity roads in it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    M1 - Gormanstown
    M2 - Ashbourne
    M3 - part of €100m payment because toll road failed to deliver its 'projected demand'
    M4 - South Meath

    No-one disputes the need for M1 and M4; however no-one can say that 4 roads were required being objective.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,504 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    The M1 and the M4 only glance off the county as an inevitable consequence of going somewhere else. The M2 is short and terminates in south Meath.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    You have not addressed the issue of the taxpayer being on the hook for a large part of the €100m annual payout on the basis of the usage levels for M3 being flawed. With 4 motorways in one county it is no great surprise they missed their own targets.

    There were two options to serve Meath; they either Routed M4 slightly further North in combination with Routing M1 further West and upgraded link roads at a fraction of the price to Trim and Navan; pre M1 it would have been feasible to get the M1 very close to Slane and bridging the Boyne further West would have saved a lot of money.

    The second option was that M3 was built further East to serve both national routes N2 & N3 and M2 not built at all.

    Instead the taxpayer is now on the hook to pay a toll company for an over-specified road for many years to come; in the context of falling traffic counts this will get a lot worse before it gets better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 619 ✭✭✭ Jayuu


    If you checked the thread on the forum you'd see that there was a lot of people sceptical about the need for the M3 project, although some form of bypass of Navan and Dunshauglin was required.

    But the whole four motorways in Meath statement is just bound to lose you any respect. As you've pointed out yourself two of those roads happen to go through Meath on their way to other destinations. Should they have diverted just to avoid Meath for some reason? The M2 was actually built as a HQDC and was subsequently upgraded to motorway status (as were many other parts of the network). The M3 is the only one that could be considered a vanity project or white elephant.

    Leaving that aside the idea that Ireland didn't need major improvement in its road infrastructure over the last 10 years is just indefensible. One of the major problems with attracting inward investment to regions beyond Dublin was the lack of a reliable and modern road network.

    Looking back there could have been different options taken with regard to the actual motorways that were built. We probably could have done with something like the M8 (with spurs to Limerick and Waterford) instead of three different routes. However it was decided that for the most part shadowing of the existing network was the best option as this had the benefit of reducing congestion and giving quick motorway access to the towns along those routes.

    The Atlantic Corridor (i.e. comprising of the N25/N20/N17/N18 routes) was needed in order to counter balance the Dublin-centric build on the other routes. It also again has the advantage of making inward investment along the route easier to justify. Whether it needs to be full motorway or not is an argument worth having but the idea that the route needs no improvement whatsoever is crazy.

    You also have to factor in the safety of a motorway/HQDC/2+2 network. The elimination of head-on collisions makes these roads the safest type possible so if they can be justified on the basis of AADT they should be considered. We've made great progress in saving lives over the last number of years and the improved quality of the roads has helped that.

    Finally the idea that private car use is going to disappear in the next twenty to thirty years is pie in the sky. Petrol may continue to get dearer but then the economics of other forms of fuel improve. Along with carbon taxes we'll probably see a general move towards electric cars or cars run on other forms of power. Who knows what new technologies will come along within the next twenty years. I somehow suspect we'll still be all driving our own cars come 2030 or 2040.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    Jayuu wrote: »
    If you checked the thread on the forum you'd see that there was a lot of people sceptical about the need for the M3 project, although some form of bypass of Navan and Dunshauglin was required.

    But the whole four motorways in Meath statement is just bound to lose you any respect. As you've pointed out yourself two of those roads happen to go through Meath on their way to other destinations. Should they have diverted just to avoid Meath for some reason? The M2 was actually built as a HQDC and was subsequently upgraded to motorway status (as were many other parts of the network). The M3 is the only one that could be considered a vanity project or white elephant..

    You will note I did give two options the latter being an N2/N3 combo; possibly routing M1 North of Swords close the M2 alignment towards slane and routing the M4 west of Maynooth 10 miles north may have been a little ambitous but it does highlight that 4 motorways in such a small area was nuts; three was absolute tops and has clearly made the third unviable givering the taxpayer yet another government self inflicted affliction.


    Jayuu wrote: »
    Leaving that aside the idea that Ireland didn't need major improvement in its road infrastructure over the last 10 years is just indefensible. One of the major problems with attracting inward investment to regions beyond Dublin was the lack of a reliable and modern road network.

    Looking back there could have been different options taken with regard to the actual motorways that were built. We probably could have done with something like the M8 (with spurs to Limerick and Waterford) instead of three different routes. However it was decided that for the most part shadowing of the existing network was the best option as this had the benefit of reducing congestion and giving quick motorway access to the towns along those routes..

    I'm with you certainly on the following of the rail alignment on M8 to bring in Limerick; not so sure on Waterford which may have been better served by the old T era routing of a DC via Enniscourthy and New Ross. I would however say that you can't take the 2000 position of a few bypasses outside towns close to Dublin as being a rationale to do much beyond

    M1
    M4/M6
    M8/M7 as a split motorway at Tipp town
    M9 to Paulstown
    M11 to Gorey & New Ross to Waterford
    N20/N18 Cork - Oranmore
    Jayuu wrote: »
    The Atlantic Corridor (i.e. comprising of the N25/N20/N17/N18 routes) was needed in order to counter balance the Dublin-centric build on the other routes. It also again has the advantage of making inward investment along the route easier to justify. Whether it needs to be full motorway or not is an argument worth having but the idea that the route needs no improvement whatsoever is crazy..

    Totally agree on linking Cork to Limerick to Galway; the spatial strategy of major settlements dictated that these need to be linked; but lets be honest Cork - Letterkenny is just to far; distance Cork - Galway is doable 130 miles on DC is 2 hours. Cork - Letterkenny (sub 20,000 population) is a pipedream considering the distance north of galway is another c140 miles. You'd nearly be in Boston in terms of comparable airtime. North of Galway there are two towns with a population in excess of 15,000 people.
    Jayuu wrote: »
    You also have to factor in the safety of a motorway/HQDC/2+2 network. The elimination of head-on collisions makes these roads the safest type possible so if they can be justified on the basis of AADT they should be considered. We've made great progress in saving lives over the last number of years and the improved quality of the roads has helped that..

    I can't disagree on road safety, which has been a real success story of recent years however it where you draw the line on AADT as to where the taxpayer has a duy of care and where cameras are the only economically viable solution to improve driver behaviour.
    Jayuu wrote: »
    Finally the idea that private car use is going to disappear in the next twenty to thirty years is pie in the sky. Petrol may continue to get dearer but then the economics of other forms of fuel improve. Along with carbon taxes we'll probably see a general move towards electric cars or cars run on other forms of power. Who knows what new technologies will come along within the next twenty years. I somehow suspect we'll still be all driving our own cars come 2030 or 2040.

    I think the way people will use their cars will be different; we will still all drive to retail parks, familly breaks in Ireland and the supermarket; but for commuting I'm not convinced; the system cannot continue to build unviable projects simply to sustain toll companies and poor development patterns. We've done the free for all, had Nama, now the IMF, an oil spike is the last straw on top of higher taxes if your salary has just been cut to pay the toll company and land speculators losses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha


    North of Galway there are two towns with a population in excess of 15,000 people.

    This kind of selective misuse of statistics is typical of this debate. The population of particular towns is not the issue. The issue is the population lying along the route. All of countes Donegal and Sligo, Derry city and much of Tyrone (perhaps 400,000 people) are reasonably reached by this route from all of Clare, Kerry and Limerick.

    There is a debate here, but those who seek to open it are not doing themselbes any favours by the misuse of data and insistance on bizarre propositions that all traffic from the southern to northern half of country should pass via the M50/M1 junction, already the most congested in the country.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ w2_3vc


    This kind of selective misuse of statistics is typical of this debate. The population of particular towns is not the issue. The issue is the population lying along the route. All of countes Donegal and Sligo, Derry city and much of Tyrone (perhaps 400,000 people) are reasonably reached by this route from all of Clare, Kerry and Limerick.

    Interestingly I did a route planner on AA for Limerick to Omagh; I could have been polemical and selected Cork to Cookstown but I resisted. Please see the results of the directions below:
    0.00 Start out on Ruthland Street
    0.31 At traffic signals turn left onto William Street - R527 (signposted Tipperary, Waterford N24)
    0.71 At traffic signals continue forward onto Upper William Street - R527 (signposted All Other Routes)
    0.84 Bear left onto Upper William Street - R527 (signposted Waterford N24)
    1.27 Limerick Greyhound Stadium
    2.49 At Tipperary Roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Ballysimon Road - R527 (signposted Waterford N24)
    N24 2.59 Bear left onto Ballysimon Road - N24
    2.66 Bear left onto Ballysimon Road - R527
    4.06 At roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Ballysimon Road - R527 (signposted Waterford N24)
    M7 5.04 At traffic signals turn left, then join the M7 motorway (signposted Dublin)
    M7 5.04 At traffic signals turn left, then join the M7 motorway (signposted Dublin) onto Limerick Bypass
    N52 37.00 Leave the M7 at junction 26, then at roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Limerick Road - N52 (signposted Nenagh)
    38.77 At Limerick Road roundabout take the 1st exit onto the N52 (signposted Birr)
    38.77 At Limerick Road roundabout take the 1st exit onto the N52 (signposted Birr) onto Nenagh Bypass
    40.78 At Portroe Road roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Link Road - N52 (signposted Birr)
    41.26 At Dromineer Road roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Link Road - N52 (signposted Birr)
    43.03 At Borrisokane Road roundabout take the 1st exit onto the N52 (signposted Birr)
    57.23 Continue forward onto the N52 Entering Borrisokane
    65.11 Bear left onto the N52 (signposted Birr)
    65.11 Bear left onto the N52 (signposted Birr) Entering Ballingarry
    75.93 Continue forward onto the N52 Entering Riverstown
    76.67 Cross Little Brosna River
    77.51 Continue forward onto the N52 Entering Birr
    77.75 Turn left onto Railway Road - N52 (signposted Tullamore)
    78.39 Cross bridge
    78.54 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto John's Place - N52
    78.68 At memorial bear right onto the N52 (signposted Tullamore)
    79.13 "The Cherry Tree", traffic signals continue forward onto the N52
    N62 81.48 Turn left onto the N62 (signposted Athlone)
    93.62 Turn right onto Banagher Street - N62 (signposted Athlone)
    93.62 Turn right onto Banagher Street - N62 (signposted Athlone) Entering Cloghan
    93.81 At roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the N62 (signposted Athlone)
    99.75 Continue forward onto the N62 Entering Ferbane
    100.20 River Brosna
    103.46 Shannon Region
    107.10 Continue forward onto the N62 Entering Doon
    107.44 At crossroads continue forward onto the N62 (signposted Athlone)
    110.18 Bear right onto the N62 Entering Ballinahown
    116.42 At T-junction turn left onto the N62 (signposted Galway)
    N6 117.76 At roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Athlone Bypass - N6 (signposted Dublin, Galway M6)
    N62 117.95 Continue forward onto Athlone Bypass - N62
    N6 118.29 At roundabout take the 1st exit, then merge onto the N6 (signposted Galway)
    N55 121.26 Leave the N6 at junction 10, then turn right onto Ballymahon Road - N55 (signposted Cavan)
    124.77 Continue forward onto Bullet Road - N55 Entering Ballykeeran
    128.43 Continue forward onto the N55 Entering Glassan
    141.03 Continue forward onto Athlone Road - N55 Entering Ballymahon
    141.51 Turn left onto Main Street - N55 (signposted Cavan)
    141.86 Turn right onto the N55 (signposted Cavan)
    151.05 Continue forward onto the N55 Entering Carrickboy
    160.42 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Ballymahon Road - N55 (signposted Town Centre)
    160.53 Continue forward onto Ballymahon Road Entering Edgeworthstown
    160.74 At traffic signals turn right onto Pound Street (signposted Cavan, Town Centre)
    160.90 Bear right onto Main Street
    N55 161.11 At traffic signals turn left onto the N55 (signposted Cavan)
    161.53 Bear left onto the N55 (signposted Cavan)
    172.46 Continue forward onto Parnell Row - N55 Entering Granard
    184.78 Continue forward onto the N55 Entering Killydoon
    190.61 Bear right onto the N55
    193.39 Continue forward onto the N55 Entering Bellinagh
    193.83 At crossroads continue forward onto Cavan Road - N55 (signposted Cavan)
    198.98 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Cavan Bypass - N55 (signposted Dublin)
    N3 201.55 At Dublin Road roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the N3 (signposted Ballyshannon, Enniskillen)
    216.86 Continue forward onto Corporation Lands - N3 Entering Belturbet
    218.05 Bear left onto Holborn Hill - N3 (signposted Ballyshannon)
    218.44 Bear right onto Upper Bridge Street - N3 (signposted Ballyshannon)
    219.66 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the N3 (signposted Enniskillen)
    222.59 Cross Woodford River
    A509 222.83 Continue forward onto Belturbet Road - A509 (You are entering Northern Ireland)
    232.20 At mini-roundabout continue forward onto Belturbet Road - A509
    232.29 Continue forward onto Belturbet Road - A509 Entering Derrylin
    234.66 Bear right onto the A509 (signposted Enniskillen)
    245.31 Continue forward onto Derrylin Road - A509 Entering Bellanaleck
    A4 250.78 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Sligo Road - A4 (signposted Enniskillen)
    252.30 Continue forward onto Sligo Road - A4 Entering Enniskillen
    253.29 Continue forward onto the A4 (signposted Belleek, Donegal A46)
    253.29 Continue forward onto the A4 (signposted Belleek, Donegal A46) then immediately
    253.34 Turn right onto the A4 (signposted Belfast)
    A32 253.46 At traffic signals turn left onto Darling Street - A32 (signposted Omagh)
    253.79 At Queen Elizabeth Roundabout take the 1st exit onto Cornagrade Road - A32 (signposted Omagh)
    255.31 At roundabout take the 1st exit onto Irvinestown Road - A32 (signposted Omagh)
    B32 256.16 Continue forward onto Irvinestown Road - B32
    A32 256.35 Continue forward onto Irvinestown Road - A32
    258.46 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Mossfield Road - A32
    268.23 Continue forward onto Mill Street - A32 Entering Irvinestown
    268.42 Turn right onto the A32 (signposted Omagh)
    268.70 At T-junction turn right onto Pound Street - A32 (signposted Dromore, Omagh)
    281.23 Bear right onto Tummery Road - A32 Entering Dromore
    281.70 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A32 (signposted Omagh, Drumquin B84)
    281.88 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Omagh Road - A32
    B4 286.56 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4
    A32 291.00 Continue forward onto the A32
    B4 292.48 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4
    A32 293.19 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - A32
    B4 293.21 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4
    294.40 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4 Entering Omagh
    A32 294.48 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - A32
    B4 294.59 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4
    A32 294.64 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - A32
    295.81 At traffic signals turn left onto Railway Link Road - A32
    A5 295.93 At traffic signals turn left onto Great Northern Road - A5 (signposted Dublin)
    A32 295.94 Continue forward onto Great Northern Road - A32
    A5 295.96 Continue forward onto Great Northern Road - A5
    296.89 Branch left, then at traffic signals turn left onto Dublin Road (signposted Town Centre, Gortin B48)
    297.31 At traffic signals continue forward onto Drumragh Avenue - B48 (signposted Gortin)
    297.37 Arrive on Drumragh Avenue

    I don't see the N17; what is clear is that there are no traffic counts for that route north of Tuam and one suspects that should those figures be public that they would dramatically undermine the case for 'Atlantic Corridor'.

    Lets add Galway - Omagh
    0.00 Start out on Saint Vincent's Avenue
    0.05 Continue forward onto Woodquay
    0.13 Continue forward onto Saint Vincent's Avenue
    0.23 At traffic signals continue forward onto Headford Road
    0.32 At traffic signals continue forward onto Headford Road
    N6 0.77 At Bodkin roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Headford Road - N6
    1.37 At Kirwan Roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Bothar Na Dtreabh - N6 (signposted Dublin)
    3.30 At Font Roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Bothar Na Dtreabh - N6 (signposted Dublin)
    3.88 At Morris Roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Bothar Na Dtreabh - N6 (signposted Dublin)
    5.70 At Lynch roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Bothar Na Dtreabh - N6 (signposted Dublin)
    M6 6.58 At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the M6 (signposted Dublin)
    46.08 Main Toll Plaza
    57.71 At Junction 15 continue forward onto the M6 toll-free motorway (signposted Dublin)
    N6 81.63 At Junction 13 continue forward onto the N6 (signposted Dublin)
    N6 81.63 At Junction 13 continue forward onto the N6 (signposted Dublin) onto Athlone Bypass
    N55 86.02 Leave the N6 at junction 10, then turn left onto Ballymahon Road - N55 (signposted Cavan)
    89.40 Continue forward onto Bullet Road - N55 Entering Ballykeeran
    93.05 Continue forward onto the N55 Entering Glassan
    105.65 Continue forward onto Athlone Road - N55 Entering Ballymahon
    106.14 Turn left onto Main Street - N55 (signposted Cavan)
    106.51 Turn right onto the N55 (signposted Cavan)
    115.70 Continue forward onto the N55 Entering Carrickboy
    125.05 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Ballymahon Road - N55 (signposted Town Centre)
    125.17 Continue forward onto Ballymahon Road Entering Edgeworthstown
    125.37 At traffic signals turn right onto Pound Street (signposted Cavan, Town Centre)
    125.53 Bear right onto Main Street
    N55 125.74 At traffic signals turn left onto the N55 (signposted Cavan)
    126.16 Bear left onto the N55 (signposted Cavan)
    137.08 Continue forward onto Parnell Row - N55 Entering Granard
    149.43 Continue forward onto the N55 Entering Killydoon
    155.24 Bear right onto the N55
    158.02 Continue forward onto the N55 Entering Bellinagh
    158.47 At crossroads continue forward onto Cavan Road - N55 (signposted Cavan)
    163.61 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Cavan Bypass - N55 (signposted Dublin)
    N3 166.18 At Dublin Road roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the N3 (signposted Ballyshannon, Enniskillen)
    181.49 Continue forward onto Corporation Lands - N3 Entering Belturbet
    182.68 Bear left onto Holborn Hill - N3 (signposted Ballyshannon)
    183.06 Bear right onto Upper Bridge Street - N3 (signposted Ballyshannon)
    184.29 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the N3 (signposted Enniskillen)
    187.21 Cross Woodford River
    A509 187.46 Continue forward onto Belturbet Road - A509 (You are entering Northern Ireland)
    196.84 At mini-roundabout continue forward onto Belturbet Road - A509
    196.92 Continue forward onto Belturbet Road - A509 Entering Derrylin
    199.29 Bear right onto the A509 (signposted Enniskillen)
    209.94 Continue forward onto Derrylin Road - A509 Entering Bellanaleck
    A4 215.41 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Sligo Road - A4 (signposted Enniskillen)
    216.94 Continue forward onto Sligo Road - A4 Entering Enniskillen
    217.94 Continue forward onto the A4 (signposted Belleek, Donegal A46)
    217.94 Continue forward onto the A4 (signposted Belleek, Donegal A46) then immediately
    217.97 Turn right onto the A4 (signposted Belfast)
    A32 218.08 At traffic signals turn left onto Darling Street - A32 (signposted Omagh)
    218.42 At Queen Elizabeth Roundabout take the 1st exit onto Cornagrade Road - A32 (signposted Omagh)
    219.93 At roundabout take the 1st exit onto Irvinestown Road - A32 (signposted Omagh)
    B32 220.79 Continue forward onto Irvinestown Road - B32
    A32 220.98 Continue forward onto Irvinestown Road - A32
    223.10 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Mossfield Road - A32
    232.86 Continue forward onto Mill Street - A32 Entering Irvinestown
    233.05 Turn right onto the A32 (signposted Omagh)
    233.32 At T-junction turn right onto Pound Street - A32 (signposted Dromore, Omagh)
    245.86 Bear right onto Tummery Road - A32 Entering Dromore
    246.33 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A32 (signposted Omagh, Drumquin B84)
    246.52 At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Omagh Road - A32
    B4 251.19 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4
    A32 255.63 Continue forward onto the A32
    B4 257.11 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4
    A32 257.82 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - A32
    B4 257.83 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4
    259.04 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4 Entering Omagh
    A32 259.12 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - A32
    B4 259.22 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - B4
    A32 259.27 Continue forward onto Clanabogan Road - A32
    260.44 At traffic signals turn left onto Railway Link Road - A32
    A5 260.55 At traffic signals turn left onto Great Northern Road - A5 (signposted Dublin)
    A32 260.57 Continue forward onto Great Northern Road - A32
    A5 260.58 Continue forward onto Great Northern Road - A5
    261.52 Branch left, then at traffic signals turn left onto Dublin Road (signposted Town Centre, Gortin B48)
    261.94 At traffic signals continue forward onto Drumragh Avenue - B48 (signposted Gortin)
    262.02 Arrive on Drumragh Avenue

    It really has no strategic value whatsoever.......


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 Sponge Bob


    Most of the anti kneejerkers in this thread are unaware that

    1. Other than Cork - Galway virtually no more Type 1 Roads will be built inteh Republic of Ireland, ever.
    2. Type 1 roads are what are designated motorway when feasible ( not around Shannon or Athlone though)
    3. Most of the other proposals are Type 2 which is dual carriageway of around the same width as WIDE single lane roads overall.
    4. There is no proposal to upgrade the N2 from Ashbourne to Ardee no matter what the loo laas like An Taisce and Sweetman say to the times, nor can one rely on any reseach McDonald may have troubled himself with, this road will never be upgraded bar a mile or so of it around a 17th century ( or something like that ) bridge in Slane :(


This discussion has been closed.
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