The M50 is still the busiest road in the country and getting busier; while if you dislike traffic jams you might want to try avoiding the Kinsale Road to Douglas section of the N40 between 9am and 10am - especially on a Friday.
These are among the observations in the 2018 annual report of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), which also revealed that:
- Luas passenger levels went up more than 20% following the extension of the Green Line, with 103,000 passengers per day and 41m passengers over the course of the year
- The M50 had 420,000 unique journeys per day and the M50 eFlow Tolling Operations saw 55m passages in 2018, while there were 1,164 accidents. Friday was the busiest day of the week on average and between 4pm and 5pm was the peak incident time
- Traffic volumes in the Dublin Tunnel increased 6%, bringing average weekday traffic to almost 23,000 vehicles per day, while a new Average Speed Camera Enforcement system has resulted in a previous average of 55% of vehicles exceeding the tunnel speed limit of 80 kmph fall to just 15%, with 0.01% now exceeding 100 kmph whereas previously it was 4% of vehicles
As for the busiest roads in Cork, the report stated: "Several sections of the N40 Cork Southern Ring Road carry in excess of 80,000 vehicles on an average day."
Friday was again the busiest day and between 9am and 10am the peak incident time. The highest hourly flow of 8,889 vehicles was recorded on the Kinsale Road to Douglas section between 8am and 9am on March 7 last year while the highest daily flow of 103,812 vehicles was recorded on the Kinsale Road - Douglas section on December 20 last. There were 113 incidents on the N40 of which 34 were road traffic collisions. A total of 0.34bn vehicle km were travelled on the N40 - a 3.1% increase on the 2017 figure.
As for motorways, there were 5,050 individual motorway incidents, 14,000km of mainline grass cutting, 8,500km of mainline road sweeping, cutting of 1,100km of the mainline hedgerow, collection of 360 tonnes of litter and the cleaning of 40,000 gullies.
In addition, 5,000 winter treatments using 31,000 tonnes of salt over 65 days were carried out last year while local authorities used more than 58,000 tonnes of salt during 2018, all mostly linked to severe snowfall associated with Storm Emma during late February / early March.
On the M50 the highest hourly flow recorded of 13,345 was between the N4-N3 at 4pm on 28 March, According to the report: "On the busiest section [of the M50], between junctions J7 (Galway road) and J9 (Red Cow), traffic volumes now exceed 155,000 vehicles per day."
It said that traffic volumes increased by approximately 2% last year and that "congestion has increased as have the number of network incidents. MMaRC operators attended over 5,000 such incidents during 2018".
When it came to the M50 and tolling, income last year was approximately €152m of which €9m was from penalties. The overall compliance rate was 97.3% and M50 tolling costs included bad debt of €3.8m.
As for the Luas, there were 25 road traffic collisions with red light infringements by motorists accounting for 13 of these, while 12 collisions were caused by road vehicles infringing into the swept path of the tram along the on-street sections of the tramway.