09 August 2008
The M50 is a Motorway (yeah right) and partial ring road around Dublin. It feels like shortly after we finished building the dreaded thing, it became a construction site again and that we will never see the end of the upgrades. That alone causes chaos on an average working day, now add rain, not ordinary rain but relentless Irish rain.
Well I unfortunately drove into just that situation tonight. I left Clogherhead (near Drogheda) at about 6pm driving down the M1 (another Motorway and I agree it certainly could be) and as soon as I reached the outskirts of Dublin I hit rain: Torrential, Monsoon Rain. The first indication that something was wrong was a sign indicating the Port Tunnell was closed (so what's new it floods on a soft day), then another sign directing take the next exit as the M1 was flooded ahead. Not so bad I thought, as the next exit was the M50 and I needed to head south anyway. What the sign didn't say, and what I found out when I had committed myself to the exit, was that the M50 was also flooded. Great, three and a half hours later I got to the Bridge over the Liffey Valley (remember this section of the road to the West Link Bridge where I was headed is approx 17 kilometres / 10 miles). If we had only had decent information I could have tried at least two other routes or failing that just pull in somewhere for something to eat .... oh wait silly me I forgot we don't have any services on our Motorways. DUH.
During this time, I was stunned into silence listening to someone on the Radio from the County Council saying how well their emergency plans had swung into action. Now, I don't know about you, but one emergency vehicle meandering up and down the closed medium (the bit where they are constructing) basically doing nothing, directing nothing: does not constitute plan, swung, or action! We, i.e. poor unfortunate tax payers, were left to our own devices on the road with absolutely no help from anyone. I was very lucky I didn't have my Mum in the car with me, as she is diabetic. I certainly can't imagine how people travelling with very young or old passengers managed. It was utter CHAOS.
Next time, I won't venture onto any Irish Motorway without a picnic.
Marks out of 10, big fat ZERO. Lads, get your act together.