Today, the government announced that it would be spending a quid or two on the roads here. Specificially, they’re going to dual the big roads round Newry and Dungannon.
Which is good, since they’re already committed to fixing the god-awful Westlink.
Ah, the Westlink. A beauty of modern engineering. Opened in 1982, and swamped at opening+ 60 seconds. They had plans, oh yes. This was to be an fantastic, sunken motorway, with no junctions, running between the M2 and the M1. It would take all the traffic trying to get to the docks away from the city centre. It would enable quick and easy transport for those passing through the city.
And all would be fantastic. Except for the way that they had those plans, then tore them up. And so we have a dual carriageway, sunken in places, with two huge, stupid, roundabouts in the middle of them. So what should be a simple three minute drive from M1 to M2 becomes a fifteen minute (minimum) crawl past traffic lights, roundabouts, junctions, badly designed lanes, etc, etc, etc.
So, how are they going about fixing this? Well, some twenty three years later, they’ll probably go with the original plans. Except doing it in 2005 pounds and with 2005 traffic levels. Genius.