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Is the M17/M18 motorway a success?

  • 03-10-2016 10:48pm
    #1
    Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Before I begin, I am in full favour of upgrading both the N17 from Tuam to Galway and the N18 from Gort to Galway. This is not a "Galway is getting a motorway but I am not" thread.

    I wanted to make this thread because this scheme is now getting closer and closer to completion, and after several years of many motorway openings per year, bar the obviously needed M11 Arklow-Rathnew scheme with all its merits, this is the first major scheme to open in seven years, one of the biggest ever undertaken in the history of the state, and the 2nd scheme ever to open as motorway (after the M18 Gort-Crusheen scheme) that doesn't link somewhere to Dublin.

    However, I have several points to discuss that I don't want to derail the existing thread full of m17's wonderful updates with.

    Please keep discussion to the M17/M18 motorway, and not how it's being built and schemes such as the M20 etc. are not.

    1. How do people reckon usage will be with the whole issue of it being so far offline from the existing M17/M18 routes? Whilst the M8 in Cork ends a bit away from the city centre, it has a ring road to latch onto at Dunkettle, but the Rathmorrissey interchange is surrounded by green fields. Would it have been that much more costly diverting it closer to the city?

    1A. It is frequently said that the route is following the Atlantic Corridor and that Atlantic Corridor traffic shouldn't be dragged closer to Galway, however surely the traffic volumes going N18 -> N17 and vice versa are comparatively less than the volume of traffic using either route to access Galway city? The overpass at Rathmorrissey directly connecting the M17 and M18 will be by far the quietest stretch of motorway in the country.

    2. Why is the alignment of the route so twisty? The existing N17 looks straighter on a map than the M17.

    3. Why is there no proper connection with the N67 at Kilcolgan? Would it not be better to have a junction with the R347 between Ardrahan and Kinvara and redesignate the R347 as the N67 from that point west. There is no direct route from the N67 to the M18 without going in a roundabout way.

    It's an awful pity the N6 Galway City Outer Bypass is so far away from completion also. The roundabout at Doughiska is going to become an awful mess after this scheme opens. It simply won't be able for the volume of traffic coming from three motorways.

    I think that the usage figures on the M17 will be very low. Possibly less than 10k which is brutal. At the beginning anyway the only element of the scheme which will live upto expectations is the Tuam BP.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,369 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    I agree that usage will be weird since there'll be an underused central bit. In order of use, it will be Annagh Hill-Tuam (most), Gort-Athenry (medium) and Athenry-Annagh Hill (least). Doughishka is going to be a mess with a huge increase in traffic coming into it from the east, and a reduction from the south.
    It's hard to build a new road nowadays that isn't twisty. Everybody wants the road to avoid their house. In the old days when roads will the existing N18 were being built you could just barrel through the countryside.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,380 ✭✭✭ 17-pdr


    Its a godsend for mayo/sligo traffic heading to/from Shannon airport. Claregalway, Oranmore, clarinbridge etc: you will not be missed!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,322 ✭✭✭ m17


    Thanks for you're write up marno21


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,148 ✭✭✭ pg633


    The current N17 was rebuilt as a straight, wide, flat road sometime since independence and it took the high, dry ground so the new road had to take what was available.

    Anecdotally a lot of the heavy traffic coming through Claregalway doesn't go straight to town - it turns left.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ araby


    Will motorway cut much time from Tuam to Galway commute?


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,831 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    araby wrote: »
    Will motorway cut much time from Tuam to Galway commute?

    No. The traffic jams on the M6 into Galway as far as the Coolagh roundabout will make it take longer.

    Only after they spend another €600m building the Galway bypass might that be resolved, probably by 2025 or 2026.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    araby wrote: »
    Will motorway cut much time from Tuam to Galway commute?
    I have discussed a number of the issues with the scheme here: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=101242279

    Discussion is preferred there as a lengthy debate here would obfuscate m17's brilliant updates and other progress discussion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,036 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    Sam Russell said the following, to a question asking will the Tuam-Galway commute be cut:

    No. The traffic jams on the M6 into Galway as far as the Coolagh roundabout will make it take longer.

    Only after they spend another €600m building the Galway bypass might that be resolved, probably by 2025 or 2026.


    Can I ask - which is the Coolagh roundabout|?


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Geuze wrote: »
    Sam Russell said the following, to a question asking will the Tuam-Galway commute be cut:

    No. The traffic jams on the M6 into Galway as far as the Coolagh roundabout will make it take longer.

    Only after they spend another €600m building the Galway bypass might that be resolved, probably by 2025 or 2026.


    Can I ask - which is the Coolagh roundabout|?

    The terminal roundabout of the N6 Galway-Ballinasloe scheme, where the N6 meets the R446 near the Galway clinic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,036 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    Thanks.

    This suggests there are daily queues of traffic back from the roundabout on the mainline N6?

    If so, at what times, and how much?

    I had assumed that the traffic queues would be after this point, i.e. at Briarhill and past racecourse towards Ballybane/ Ballybrit.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,369 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    No. The traffic jams on the M6 into Galway as far as the Coolagh roundabout will make it take longer.

    Only after they spend another €600m building the Galway bypass might that be resolved, probably by 2025 or 2026.

    It might depending on where you started. Anyone near the old Dublin Road should be OK. They can join near Galway Airport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,652 ✭✭✭✭ JCX BXC


    Take the coast road to Oranmore and join via the (soon to be) old N18 ;)


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,831 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Last time I was there about 8:30am, I was delayed by more than 15 mins on the M6 until the roundabout. When the M17 opens, that will no doubt be worse.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,831 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    JCX BXC wrote: »
    Take the coast road to Oranmore and join via the (soon to be) old N18 ;)

    Then why build the motorway if it causes traffic jams that increase the delays?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,998 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    Geuze wrote: »
    I had assumed that the traffic queues would be after this point, i.e. at Briarhill and past racecourse towards Ballybane/ Ballybrit.

    Its a combo car traffic jam. It is combined with the Briarhill junction.


  • Site Banned Posts: 26 ✭✭✭ Werido


    Be a great relief for me when this opens.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,446 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    Then why build the motorway if it causes traffic jams that increase the delays?
    because it cuts nearly an hour peak time off the drive from Tuam to Gort (i.e. anyone heading from Sligo and beyond to Limerick and beyond)

    the Galway traffic is its own self made problem, that in the end building roads to entice an already car mad city to be even more car dependent wont solve


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,652 ✭✭✭✭ JCX BXC


    Then why build the motorway if it causes traffic jams that increase the delays?

    My comment was sarcastic.

    To be honest, having the road join the Dublin motorway at Athenry is just​ plain stupid. It cuts off no time for anyone going to Galway from Limerick, which is what the M18 is primarily for. It's grand for all the people who go from the M18 to the M17, but the vast majority of people who'll use this road won't be!


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Deedsie wrote: »
    Exactly, the only way to improve traffic in Galway is to provide alternatives to the private car. The bypass will not solve traffic congestion in Galway. Galway is extremely car dependent.

    Population density is a major issue also with Galway city and county. It goes beyond public transport, Galway is a case study on how not to plan a city


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭ Middle Man


    Deedsie wrote: »
    Exactly, the only way to improve traffic in Galway is to provide alternatives to the private car. The bypass will not solve traffic congestion in Galway. Galway is extremely car dependent.

    In any integrated transport programme, bypasses are an essential PART of the solution but NOT THE solution. Again, it comes down to the right tools for the job in hand. Bypasses provide a place for necessary motor traffic to circulate so that road space within urban areas is freed up for public transport solutions. If I had my way in Galway, the Galway transport project would include the new motorway ring, a new Luas style link spanning most of the city's length and a new suburban rail service to Tuam along with new stations in areas such as Renmore, Roscam, Tuam Central and Tuam Ballygaddy (P+R taking advantage of the new interchange nearby). In the centre of Galway, the pedestrian would be king.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,036 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    Last time I was there about 8:30am, I was delayed by more than 15 mins on the M6 until the roundabout. When the M17 opens, that will no doubt be worse.

    Thanks.

    When the new road opens, say I arrive at start of Tuam bypass at 7am, and so would be at Coolagh roundabout at 7:30 [maybe even 7:25??].

    At 7:30am what might traffic be like, if I want to get to QC bridge?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,098 ✭✭✭ glineli


    I wonder was yesterday's traffic problems a preview into how bad the traffic will be when the road opens?


  • Registered Users Posts: 20 ✭✭✭ araby


    Geuze wrote: »
    Thanks.

    When the new road opens, say I arrive at start of Tuam bypass at 7am, and so would be at Coolagh roundabout at 7:30 [maybe even 7:25??].

    At 7:30am what might traffic be like, if I want to get to QC bridge?


    Traffic will be moving fairly freely at that stage


  • Registered Users Posts: 855 Dagon


    galwayrush wrote: »
    I'd still prefer to see a Gort - Galway -Tuam Motorway, still can't believe the NRA opted for Athenry instead of Galway. Guess there's no point hoping they might reroute it so it's more useful.

    Yes, the road swings out a bit more to the east than we'd like, but I still reckon it will be quicker from Tuam->Galway than the N17. The new interchange will be west of Athenry, so I'm assuming (using google maps) it's about 13km from Galway (coolagh roundabout). This will be quick and easy (once the coolagh roundabout isn't jammers).

    If you do the maths...

    Kimore roundabout (Tuam) to Rathmorrissey interchange (just west of Athenry): 25.5kms (15 minutes or so)
    Rathmorrissey to Coolagh roundabout: 13kms (7 minutes or so)

    ===Total distance: 38.5 (23 min)

    Does the above sound right?
    If it's right, then I don't think we can complain too much about it not being more direct Tuam to Galway...


  • Registered Users Posts: 42 ✭✭✭ Pereplyotchik


    Dagon wrote: »
    Yes, the road swings out a bit more to the east than we'd like, but I still reckon it will be quicker from Tuam->Galway than the N17. The new interchange will be west of Athenry, so I'm assuming (using google maps) it's about 13km from Galway (coolagh roundabout). This will be quick and easy (once the coolagh roundabout isn't jammers).

    If you do the maths...

    Kimore roundabout (Tuam) to Rathmorrissey interchange (just west of Athenry): 25.5kms (15 minutes or so)
    Rathmorrissey to Coolagh roundabout: 13kms (7 minutes or so)

    ===Total distance: 38.5 (23 min)

    Does the above sound right?
    If it's right, then I don't think we can complain too much about it not being more direct Tuam to Galway...

    It's one of those situations where the NRA were going to cop it no matter what... go too close to Galway... people complain it adds to city traffic or that it's not point of this motorway to serve the city...
    go too far away then people complain it leaves too much traffic on existing smaller roads, doesn't serve enough people going to Galway or just concentrates too much traffic in one stretch on M'way (Athenry-Galway) they probably did ok with the outcome all things considered... it should alleviate some of the worst of the N17 traffic and provide a decent North-South route avoiding Tuam-Claregalway-Oranmore-Clarinbrige.... will come into it's own when bypass is built and coast road is upgraded...
    just to get back on topic... great progress being made on this scheme... I went through Kilmore Roundabout (sth. Tuam) today and they had it open that as a functioning roundabout for the N17 North/South route, the daily slalom around one side of the roundabout seems to be coming to an end... not a minute too soon....


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,652 ✭✭✭✭ JCX BXC


    It's one of those situations where the NRA were going to cop it no matter what... go too close to Galway... people complain it adds to city traffic or that it's not point of this motorway to serve the city...
    go too far away then people complain it leaves too much traffic on existing smaller roads, doesn't serve enough people going to Galway or just concentrates too much traffic in one stretch on M'way (Athenry-Galway) they probably did ok with the outcome all things considered... it should alleviate some of the worst of the N17 traffic and provide a decent North-South route avoiding Tuam-Claregalway-Oranmore-Clarinbrige.... will come into it's own when bypass is built and coast road is upgraded...
    just to get back on topic... great progress being made on this scheme... I went through Kilmore Roundabout (sth. Tuam) today and they had it open that as a functioning roundabout for the N17 North/South route, the daily slalom around one side of the roundabout seems to be coming to an end... not a minute too soon....

    I can't agree.

    The only traffic alleviation the road will allow is the very small number of people going who wish to bypass Galway and go onto North Galway/Mayo, (who didn't have to really to near the city anyway) infact it makes things worse in my opinion, as both the M6 and M17/M18 traffic will all be thrown into the exact same entrance to the city, I can see eye watering delays.

    I'd wager we'll see a large proportion of M18 traffic taking the exit at Kilternan.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    JCX BXC wrote: »
    I can't agree.

    The only traffic alleviation the road will allow is the very small number of people going who wish to bypass Galway and go onto North Galway/Mayo, (who didn't have to really to near the city anyway) infact it makes things worse in my opinion, as both the M6 and M17/M18 traffic will all be thrown into the exact same entrance to the city, I can see eye watering delays.

    I'd wager we'll see a large proportion of M18 traffic taking the exit at Kilternan.
    I'd say the same about traffic leaving the M17 at Annagh Hill. May be an advantage to using the M17 from Tuam to Annagh Hill and then heading in the N83. Can't be any worse than heading down to Athenry, and navigating the mess at the Coolagh roundabout in addition to the mess along Bothar na dTreabh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,036 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze


    I see the point being made by the last two posts.

    Surely people wanting to avoid Coolagh will go as far as M6/N6 exit at Carnmore, and either head south to Oranmore to join the DC, or else head north for the Monivea road or Claregalway?


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Geuze wrote: »
    I see the point being made by the last two posts.

    Surely people wanting to avoid Coolagh will go as far as M6/N6 exit at Carnmore, and either head south to Oranmore to join the DC, or else head north for the Monivea road or Claregalway?
    Or just use the old N17 (N83) if they're going to Parkmore/Ballybrit anyway.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1 see16


    JCX BXC wrote: »
    I can't agree.

    The only traffic alleviation the road will allow is the very small number of people going who wish to bypass Galway and go onto North Galway/Mayo, (who didn't have to really to near the city anyway) infact it makes things worse in my opinion, as both the M6 and M17/M18 traffic will all be thrown into the exact same entrance to the city, I can see eye watering delays.

    I'd wager we'll see a large proportion of M18 traffic taking the exit at Kilternan.

    Having recently moved from Lower Salthill to Clarinbridge, I am still getting to grips with the nightmare morning commute to the city centre..
    I've tried via Oranmore, via R446 & Merlin exit, via R446 taking exit towards Ballybrit & then in via Tuam rd. - which is a route where you keep moving for the most part at least.

    Yesterday was my first day heading in since the new road opened, and I left at my usual 8am. Having previously been in 2km tailbacks out of the coast rd from Oranmore on to old Dub. rd, I decided to stay on the R446 and take the Merlin/city(east) exit at the Clinic r'bout..
    Both lanes were at a standstill about a quarter of a km further back than usual, but actually not moving for periods of up to 5 mins. I knew knew there was a risk of the left-hand lane being backed up more, but I couldn't understand about the right lane - people who'd just be going around the r'about and heading city(west) towards Ballybrit.
    Then as I got closer I realised that the roundabout was at a standstill due to two lanes of the new traffic which had just come off the N6/M17/M18, wanting to come in to city east and now with right of way on all of us. Being that there is no yellow box on the r'bout to help even those just wishing to get around to exit westbound, the majority of drivers weren't leaving any gaps for anyone to come through, and it was all being dictated by the lights further on at Dougishka.

    I'd realised that the old Dub. rd was not going to get me anywhere so I'd already changed into the right lane and eventually got on to the road heading west. Then when we hit the next r'about at the end of the N6 it was the same story - two lanes of much heavier than usual traffic coming around to head west, with right of way on us, and again no yellow box to force any leeway.
    People were actually stopping themselves on the roundabout to let some of us on, and otherwise it was impossible, being a relatively small roundabout with little space to jump on between approaching cars even when there was a bit of flow.

    From here on it was the usual journey, not too bad and generally kept moving.
    I got to work at 9:06.
    And arranged that today I would start at 11 :D

    As a matter of interest I decided to take the M6 + M18 home today - to come off at the exit by Kilcolgan - Kiltiernan exit I think, marked Ardrahan/Kinvara.
    It took a very long time. Having not looked up the map of the new road I didn't realise how far out it was. So the idea of going to Kilcolgan in the morning and in that way instead is a non-runner.

    I had to look up whether anyone else was as depressed as I am about this fresh hell, so I thank you for letting me rant :D

    Maybe I'll try Dougishka rd. from coast road tomorrow..


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