Nice to see that the Cashel to Culahill bypass will open today ahead of schedule, therby putting a large proportion of the hell that is driving between Portlaois and the Cash bypass to past history. Unfortunately we still need to get from Culahill to Portlaois, but at least a good 50% of this hellish dog track, with its miserable one horse towns, total overload of heavy goods vehicles and grannies driving home from mass at 25kmph to the past.
However, there is a catch.
The remainder of the bypass, which will join up this road with the motorway at Portlaois is still in progress, but it won't be free. This means that somebody travelling from Cork city to Dublin city will be tolled twice, and somebody like me who travels from Cork city to Dublin airport will then be tolled 3 times. The worst hit of all will be those brave souls who dare to use a public road to travel from Cork to the border via the M1 - they will be tolled no less than 4 times for a single journey, even at present prices a one way trip would cost them nearly 8 euros for a car. This makes Aer Arann's 130 euro round trip flight from Belfast to Cork look rather attractive for a lone traveller. You could also take the train, but with a likely 110 euros for what would probably be a 6 hour trip, you'd be well advised to steer clear and drive or fly.
I'm always, however, slightly awed by the loonies who've managed to claim to drive this road up until now claiming to have driven from Cork/Dublin or vice versa in 2.5 hours city to city. This is rather impressive considering that nowadays unless you are on this road between midnight and 6am you are likely to meet an almost constant convoy of HGVs, who unless you have a deathwish, are impossible to safely overtake without taking an enormous risk. Yet there must still be crazies out there as I've seen not only the said maniacs overtaking HGVs on this deathtrap of a singe carriageway, I've seen a few particular crazies overtake a line of traffic and then maybe one or two HGVs. You really do wonder who these people are and how they are still alive.
Then again, I guess the horrible toll of deaths on the road every year has to come from somewhere. Looking forward to driving on this road in 2 weeks time.