A green road to Cork.

Having driven the Cork to Dublin (or Dublin to Cork road take your pick) more than a few times, I realize that the upcoming Motorway while making the trip faster, it will make it more dangerous, boring and expensive. It will be faster, burn up more gas, and toll payments, wear out my car faster, and cause accidents by drunks, boy racers and road fatigue.

But there is another cost, and this one is a big unknown, Lifestyles of the communities along the old road.

In many ways, the towns along the way make a living from the traffic, but in a more ethereal way the motorway will disconnect each community along the way from each other, and the people traveling past them. It will erode the distributed population, and create a conduit to increased centralization in Dublin.

Having grown up in the Central U.S. I know that the era of the superhighway pretty much destroyed small town america. In a real way the world passed them by, slowly draining away the youth, and futures of small towns. One more nail in the coffin of Ireland that was, one more notch in the handle of globalization.

And you know, I’m going to miss the view.

6 comments on “A green road to Cork.

  1. I completely disagree with you on this. Those towns do not rely on making a living from traffic, they are choked by it.

    Ask one person who lives in Naas, Kildare, Monasterevin or Portlaoise whether their quality of life has improved or not since they were bypassed and you’ll find the only ones complaining are the petrol station owners and the odd fast food joint.

    Dublin Cork is not Route 66.

    What will destroy small-town life in Ireland is this obsession with removing “shopping traffic” from town centres and pushing us all out to shopping centres on the edges.

    As with most things, the US does it first and realises they have screwed up, then the Brits copy it and screw up and then finally when everyone else has realised the error of their ways, we do it in Ireland.

    As for views, the one on the new Fermoy bypass is far superior to the old road. You can now see the valley in all its glory and get a proper view of the forested hill. Reminds me in some ways of the wonderful A3 from Frankfurt to Nurnberg.

  2. Christ, there’s no pleasing some people 😉

    Seriously though, living as I do next to one of the few towns which will remain un-bypassed on the Dublin-Killarney/Tralee route after 2010 I can definitely back up what Conor is saying. Already the traffic through the town – Newcastlewest – is choking it to death, especially during holiday weekends and that’s before Castleisland and Adare get bypassed. Once those bypasses are complete it will be a nightmare.

  3. Well, what do I know! I live in Ballincollig, and I thought that the bypass there would relieve the traffic there also, but it really didn’t.

    Mind you, the builders put in a new shopping mall in the center of the main village, and added 450 houses and 500 apartments as well 😉

  4. The motorway sounds great to me. I can understand that it might damage the economy of Urlingford, home of Josies and the cheapest petrol in Ireland, and a traditional place to stop, but the likes of Abbeyleix can take the hit, and the likes of New Inn will probably be glad to see their cats’ life expectancy to rise.

    I agree the Fermoy bypass is a lovely road – driving it is a pleasure, great view and it feels like a video game. A very small part of me will miss the charm of meandering through small towns on my journey, replaced by boring, soulless motorways, but then that part will think back to the years I spent idling in Monasterevin waiting for the bottleneck to clear. And as it happens, the towns on the Cork/Dublin road aren’t particularly interesting to begin with.

    I don’t think it will make it more dangerous either… afaik statistics tell you that there are more crashes on the smaller roads, with bad line of sight, no room for overtaking, etc. I always feel safer on a motorway, because at least I know that some clown isn’t going to be coming towards me in my lane as he overtakes around a corner.

  5. Ballincollig? That’s where I lived 12 years ago when working for Solas Data and to be honest, traffic was a nightmare even then. It’s disappointing though to hear that the bypass isn’t working out 🙁

  6. Its unfair to say that the bypass isn’t working out… the bypass is great. It does so much more than just relieve the traffic in Ballincollig, it saves lots of time on journeys to other places like Blarney. Given all the new developments in Ballincollig town, in particular the new shopping centre, then I would dread to think of what it would be like now if the bypass didn’t exist.

    The problem with traffic in Ballincollig town, I find, is people trying to reverse out of parking spaces and getting stuck, and stuff like that.

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