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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020
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'Bumper-to-bumper traffic predicted during the run-up to Christmas' - AA Roadwatch's Christmas forecast

With traffic levels at their heaviest in recent years, expect heavy congestion around shopping centre areas.

Expect heavy outbound traffic Friday afternoon
Expect heavy outbound traffic Friday afternoon
Image: RollingNews.ie

WHILE THE WEATHER has improved, jammed roads and busy traffic around shopping centres are likely to cause some headaches for motorists, AA Roadwatch has said this week.

Traffic levels in Ireland have been increasing steadily in recent years following the dip during the recession, and while commuter traffic is likely to drop off somewhat on tomorrow, shopping areas in other areas will likely still be busy with people coming home to buy last minute gifts.

“Motorists can expect to see a surge in city-centre traffic on Thursday 21 December, as last-minute shoppers try to take advantage of late closing hours to get all of their gifts sorted,” said Elaine O’Sullivan, editor of AA Roadwatch.

“Meanwhile, on Friday 22 December traffic levels will start to build up from 1pm as those leaving city centres around the country make their way home for Christmas before traffic starts to die down again after approximately 4pm.”

Christmas Day itself will likely be light on traffic due to people staying indoors with their families, while the sales on St Stephen’s Day onwards will likely contribute some mid-to-heavy congestion.

shutterstock_404733409 The after-Christmas sales are expected to add to congestion Source: Shutterstock/All About Space

While AA Roadwatch and Rescue Teams will be working over the Christmas period, the recent cold snap has made the teams significantly busier, so here are some tips to ensure you don’t get caught out when visiting friends and family this season:

  • Not all service stations are open on 25 December – remember to fuel-up in advance.
  • Make sure to have a spare wheel as a lot of tyre centres and garages are closed
  • To avoid your battery going flat remember to switch off all headlights, interior lights, heaters and the radio when leaving your car.
  • Keep a pair of jump leads in your boot
  • Prepare an in-car safety kit to include: a demisting cloth, de-icer, shovel, salt/sand, torch, warning triangle

They are also predicting heavy traffic on the following routes in the lead-up to Christmas:

  • M50 southbound from J7 Lucan to J17 M11
  • M7 Dublin/ Limerick Rd especially between J6 Castlewarden and J10 Naas South
  • N40 South Ring Rd in Cork City; particularly between J6 Kinsale Rd and the Dunkettle Interchange
  • N11 Dublin/ Wexford Rd from J5 Bray North to Kilmacanogue
  • N4/ M4 Dublin/ Sligo Rd from Chapelizod Bypass to J7 Maynooth and also further west through Carrick on Shannon
  • N21 Limerick/ Tralee Rd past Patrickswell to Adare and then again to go through Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale
  • N18 Limerick/ Galway Rd through Gort and again further north from Clarinbridge to Oranmore
  • N20 Cork/ Limerick Rd between Mallow and Buttevant

 Read: ‘Council wants to crack down on rickshaws speeding around Dublin city’

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