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TII Motorway Service Areas (MSA) Progress Thread

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,519 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    Bards wrote: »
    Amazing that the M9 (white elephant) is busier than the M6

    ...and sections of the M7 and M8! So quiet businesses seem to want to build services at every junction!


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,135 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    The M9 at Kilcullen is quite close to Dublin there’s quite a lot of commuter traffic in there

    Perhaps there’s a higher proportion of intercity traffic at the M6 area that gives them a higher yield


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,254 ✭✭✭ serfboard


    marno21 wrote: »
    The M9 at Kilcullen is quite close to Dublin there’s quite a lot of commuter traffic in there
    Sure you could argue the same thing about the MSAs at Enfield and Lusk, if that's the case.

    When the Lusk MSA was built I thought it was a crazy place to put it - so close to Dublin. However I was doing the Galway->Belfast trips occasionally a few years ago and for the journey up, Lusk is in exactly the right location.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,254 ✭✭✭ serfboard


    Bards wrote: »
    Amazing that the M9 (white elephant) is busier than the M6
    Yep. And if you pick the right sections, the M17 (white elephant) is busier than the (non-white elephant) M7.

    Facts. They're a bitch.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,087 ✭✭✭ hi5


    Bards wrote: »
    Amazing that the M9 (white elephant) is busier than the M6

    Build it and they will come.
    I have a small and fairly specialised business in Kilkenny, a lot of my customers now drive from Dublin, I wouldn't have got them before the M9 was built.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭ fricatus


    hi5 wrote: »
    Build it and they will come.
    I have a small and fairly specialised business in Kilkenny, a lot of my customers now drive from Dublin, I wouldn't have got them before the M9 was built.

    Funny how this phrase is usually deployed by people who don't want an investment to go ahead. It was in practically every second or third post on the old M9 thread at the planning/design thread, along with sh!t like "road to nowhere" and yes of course "white elephant".


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,692 ✭✭✭ rameire


    hi5 wrote: »
    Build it and they will come.
    I have a small and fairly specialised business in Kilkenny, a lot of my customers now drive from Dublin, I wouldn't have got them before the M9 was built.

    Is it bacon?
    I love bacon.
    I'd travel for good bacon.


  • Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 5,039 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quackster


    Bards wrote: »
    Amazing that the M9 (white elephant) is busier than the M6

    There was never any question about the need for a motorway between Kilkenny and Dublin. The 'white elephant' is the section south of Kilkenny.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,254 ✭✭✭ serfboard


    Quackster wrote: »
    There was never any question about the need for a motorway between Kilkenny and Dublin. The 'white elephant' is the section south of Kilkenny.
    So there should not have been a motorway from Waterford to Dublin?

    The section south of Kilkenny (the "white elephant" in your words) is carrying almost 14K at the moment. The limit to a 2+2 is, AFAIK, 20K, so not that far off and who is to say that it won't reach that point over the next few decades?

    Build it once, and build it right. It will never have to be rebuilt.


  • Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 5,039 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quackster


    serfboard wrote: »
    So there should not have been a motorway from Waterford to Dublin?

    The section south of Kilkenny (the "white elephant" in your words) is carrying almost 14K at the moment. The limit to a 2+2 is, AFAIK, 20K, so not that far off and who is to say that it won't reach that point over the next few decades?

    Build it once, and build it right. It will never have to be rebuilt.

    I'm merely quoting. I use it occasionally and am happy it is there.

    There was a feeling at the time, rightly or wrongly, that that section of the M9 had been prioritised over the more strategically important M20 but that horse has long bolted.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭ fricatus


    Quackster wrote: »
    There was never any question about the need for a motorway between Kilkenny and Dublin. The 'white elephant' is the section south of Kilkenny.

    Mother of God... :rolleyes:

    Arguably it was the section south of Kilkenny (well, Paulstown really) which most needed doing anyway, as it was basically a cart-track, and unsuitable for large volumes of traffic.

    Populations from 2016, FYI:
    Kilkenny: 26,512
    Waterford: 51,519 (metro area 82,963, sounds a bit high, but 1) who am I to argue with Google? and 2) that would include Tramore, which has over 10k and is functionally part of Waterford city)
    serfboard wrote: »
    Build it once, and build it right.

    Thankfully they did!

    Anyway, sorry for going off topic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,254 ✭✭✭ serfboard


    Quackster wrote: »
    There was a feeling at the time, rightly or wrongly, that that section of the M9 had been prioritised over the more strategically important M20 but that horse has long bolted.
    Indeed, there was a "feeling".

    The same charge was also levelled against the M18 and M17.

    But guess what? The M9, M18 and M17 have now all been built and we are still a decade away from the M20.

    So what do they blame now, I wonder?


  • Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 5,039 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quackster


    serfboard wrote: »
    Indeed, there was a "feeling".

    The same charge was also levelled against the M18 and M17.

    But guess what? The M9, M18 and M17 have now all been built and we are still a decade away from the M20.

    So what do they blame now, I wonder?

    The recession intervened, the M20 project was suspended and it all had to go back to the drawing board again as the planning work that had been completed was now out of date.

    I've no issues with the M9. Am glad it's there on the occasion I have to use it but, 'Mother of God', there are some folk here who seem to take serious offence at any perceived slight being directed at it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 396 ✭✭ cyclops999


    Athlone area now has services Circle K M6, KilmartinsN6 & Applegreen Arcadia something is going to lay idle in the near future IMO


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭ fricatus


    Quackster wrote: »
    I've no issues with the M9. Am glad it's there on the occasion I have to use it but, 'Mother of God', there are some folk here who seem to take serious offence at any perceived slight being directed at it!

    Yeah no, sorry, it just brings me back to the bad old days when we had people claiming there would be grass growing up the middle of it (on the basis of the traffic figures on the cart-track old N9 at the time, which people tended often to avoid in favour of the N30-N11 route).

    It almost didn't happen, as I recall, such was the level of opposition to it, and I don't remember any such opposition to the M6, or any suggestions that it should be built only as far as Athlone for example. Waterford was hit probably hardest of all the cities when the recession came, and it's been a long struggle to get back to normality. I shudder to think how much worse it would have been if we didn't have 21st-century road access! :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 165 ✭✭ emfifty


    Kilcullen MSA to open mid-October according to the Circle K ops guy below.

    https://www.midlands103.com/news/midlands-news/almost-20000-a-day-expected-at-new-station-in-athlone/


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,254 ✭✭✭ serfboard


    emfifty wrote: »
    They're expecting 20K customers a day in the Moate MSA.

    I wondered how realistic that is so I looked up the figures - the nearest counter shows 17.5K vehicles a day, so I'm not sure how that translates.

    Interesting to note, though, that the M6 counter shows the following traffic pattern -

    2017 - 20.5K
    2018 - 18.5K
    2019 - 17.5K

    So this section of road has lost three thousand vehicles a day? At a time when the economy is improving? In an era of ever-increasing road (and particularly motorway) usage?

    Aanyone have any informed opinions or guesswork as to what's happening?


  • Registered Users Posts: 165 ✭✭ emfifty


    serfboard wrote: »
    They're expecting 20K customers a day in the Moate MSA.

    I wondered how realistic that is so I looked up the figures - the nearest counter shows 17.5K vehicles a day, so I'm not sure how that translates.

    Interesting to note, though, that the M6 counter shows the following traffic pattern -

    2017 - 20.5K
    2018 - 18.5K
    2019 - 17.5K

    So this section of road has lost three thousand vehicles a day? At a time when the economy is improving? In an era of ever-increasing road (and particularly motorway) usage?

    Aanyone have any informed opinions or guesswork as to what's happening?


    Wild guess: A lot more people working from home. Couldn't be "ar*ed" commuting any more..
    Bus services on the Galway-Dublin-airport-Galway route are decent these days. People opting to kick back and relax instead of driving.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,519 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    hi5 wrote: »
    Build it and they will come.
    I have a small and fairly specialised business in Kilkenny, a lot of my customers now drive from Dublin, I wouldn't have got them before the M9 was built.

    Spot on. Kilkenny has certainly reaped the benefits of the M9 it makes Dublin so near as it does Waterford and Carlow. Both of which have also benefited enormously. Lots of new commerce, business, commuting and trade going on between these urban centres that was virtually impossible pre M9. Of all the MIUs I reckon it’s wel up there in terms of the economic dividend it’s paid.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,519 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    marno21 wrote: »
    The M9 at Kilcullen is quite close to Dublin there’s quite a lot of commuter traffic in there

    Perhaps there’s a higher proportion of intercity traffic at the M6 area that gives them a higher yield

    There’s Dublin commuter traffic on all the major routes!! They still need fuel and services as much as some doing the journey less often


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,519 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    Quackster wrote: »
    There was never any question about the need for a motorway between Kilkenny and Dublin. The 'white elephant' is the section south of Kilkenny.

    No way- that was the worst of the old N9 and was the crucial part of the project due to the safety dividend it paid. Don't have the figures to hand but daily ADDT of 13-15k range, easily comparable with parts of the other MIUs. The section around kk is quieter as it sort of mimics the Kilkenny ring road but picks up considerably either side of J8 and J9.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,519 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    serfboard wrote: »
    They're expecting 20K customers a day in the Moate MSA.

    I wondered how realistic that is so I looked up the figures - the nearest counter shows 17.5K vehicles a day, so I'm not sure how that translates.

    Interesting to note, though, that the M6 counter shows the following traffic pattern -

    2017 - 20.5K
    2018 - 18.5K
    2019 - 17.5K

    So this section of road has lost three thousand vehicles a day? At a time when the economy is improving? In an era of ever-increasing road (and particularly motorway) usage?

    Aanyone have any informed opinions or guesswork as to what's happening?

    The M4/M6 are now overdone with services I think. Too many for the traffic figured


  • Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 5,039 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quackster


    road_high wrote: »
    No way- that was the worst of the old N9 and was the crucial part of the project due to the safety dividend it paid. Don't have the figures to hand but daily ADDT of 13-15k range, easily comparable with parts of the other MIUs. The section around kk is quieter as it sort of mimics the Kilkenny ring road but picks up considerably either side of J8 and J9.

    Not arguing with any of that but I believe that it was originally intended to be 2+2 south of Kilkenny.

    I think a lot of the negatively stemmed from the outrageously inflated prices that were paid for agricultural land CPOed for the MIUs in the mid/late noughties thanks to the love-in between the government of the time and the IFA.


  • Registered Users Posts: 920 Last Stop


    serfboard wrote: »
    They're expecting 20K customers a day in the Moate MSA.

    I wondered how realistic that is so I looked up the figures - the nearest counter shows 17.5K vehicles a day, so I'm not sure how that translates.

    From what I remember, the business cases are based on 1 in 10 stopping. So I assume you mean 2k customers per day not 20k? That wouldn’t be too far off


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,519 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    Quackster wrote: »
    Not arguing with any of that but I believe that it was originally intended to be 2+2 south of Kilkenny.

    I think a lot of the negatively stemmed from the outrageously inflated prices that were paid for agricultural land CPOed for the MIUs in the mid/late noughties thanks to the love-in between the government of the time and the IFA.

    The difference between full motorway and 2+2 would hardly have been that significantly cheaper? It’s basically the same but with a hard shoulder.
    Building new roads is very expensive but worth it. It’s a shame we didn't keep up the momentum of that time as it would have been transformative


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,519 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    serfboard wrote: »
    They're expecting 20K customers a day in the Moate MSA.

    I wondered how realistic that is so I looked up the figures - the nearest counter shows 17.5K vehicles a day, so I'm not sure how that translates.

    Interesting to note, though, that the M6 counter shows the following traffic pattern -

    2017 - 20.5K
    2018 - 18.5K
    2019 - 17.5K

    So this section of road has lost three thousand vehicles a day? At a time when the economy is improving? In an era of ever-increasing road (and particularly motorway) usage?

    Aanyone have any informed opinions or guesswork as to what's happening?

    The 18 and 17 figures are more representative as they average full calendar years-for 2019 the average figures are at most an average up to end August. So not including the busier back to school and pre Christmas months.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,135 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Quackster wrote: »
    Not arguing with any of that but I believe that it was originally intended to be 2+2 south of Kilkenny.

    I think a lot of the negatively stemmed from the outrageously inflated prices that were paid for agricultural land CPOed for the MIUs in the mid/late noughties thanks to the love-in between the government of the time and the IFA.
    The old 1998 Road Needs Study suggested (bear in mind there was no 2+2 back then, it was motorway, dual carriageway, wide 2 lane and standard 2 lane)

    Waterford-N24: dual carriageway
    N24 jn-Paulstown: standard 2 lane
    Paulstown-Kilcullen: wide 2 lane (the N9 Moone/Timlin bypass was constructed to this standard in the early 2000s)

    Of these sections, only the M9-Paulstown and Paulstown bypass north of Kilkenny were to be prioritised, and south of there just the N24-Ballyhale, Thomastown bypass and Dungarvan-Gowran to standard S2 were invisaged.

    However, it assumes an N8 dual carraigeway and N77 improvements to remove traffic from the N9. On the N10, Ballyhale-Kilkenny was to be standard S2 and Kilkenny-Paulstown was to be WS2.

    Stretches of the N6 and N7 were also recommended for single carriageway upgrades for comparison. There were stretches of dual carraigeway (Macroom-Ovens) for example that are nowhere near completion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,519 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    I’m glad that approach was very altered- what did Wide 2 lane between Paulstown avid Waterford even mean? No hard shoulder?
    South of Thomastown that road was a winding narrow mess.
    Dublin Kilkenny traffic would have stayed using the N78 or N10/9 as they’re shorter routes


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,135 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    road_high wrote: »
    I’m glad that approach was very altered- what did Wide 2 lane between Paulstown avid Waterford even mean? No hard shoulder?
    South of Thomastown that road was a winding narrow mess.
    Dublin Kilkenny traffic would have stayed using the N78 or N10/9 as they’re shorter routes

    Wide 2 lane is WS2, 5 meter lanes and 2.5 meter hard shoulders. Monstrously wide road but still 2 lanes. From 2008 on WS2 was replaced with 2+2


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,092 ✭✭✭✭ flazio


    cyclops999 wrote: »
    Athlone area now has services Circle K M6, KilmartinsN6 & Applegreen Arcadia something is going to lay idle in the near future IMO

    Applegreen never seemed that busy to me anytime I've been through it. Both themselves and Kilmartins (Texaco) depended a lot on passing traffic to B&Q and Woodies respectively.
    Kilmartins looks to be doing just fine, Applegreen on the other hand looks tired and unorganised. Most other places have combinations of Chopstix, Burger King, Subway and a coffee chain. Nothing of note there and I believe the takeaway beside them has had trouble with hygiene checkers.


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