Client: National Roads Authority (NRA)

National Roads Authority IrelandPMCE Ltd., as part of a Consortium with Mouchel, were appointed by the National Roads Authority (NRA) in 2012 to carry out a series of Road Safety Inspections (RSIs), the first of their kind to take place in Ireland, of existing routes within the national road network, during the period 2012-2015.

The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) published by the National Roads Authority defines a Road Safety Inspection as “an ordinary periodical verification of the characteristics and defects of an operational road that require maintenance work for reasons of road safety”.

To date, a total of 9 RSIs have been completed. The steps involved in completing a Road Safety Inspection involve;

  • Driving the route in question during the hours of daylight and darkness while tracking the route using GPS technology and recording video footage of the route as the RSI Team comment on safety issues observed throughout the route.
  • Driving the intersecting side roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.
  • Photographing the visibility towards mainline traffic when exiting these intersecting roads.
  • Conducting a desktop review of the videos categorising the safety issues identified and assigning each a unique reference ID.
  • Carrying out a Collision Analysis of the historical Collision Data along the route.
  • Discussing each issue identified as a team and determining if it requires attention.

 

The Road Safety Inspection of the N05 was completed over the period 18th September 2012 to 30th January 2013 and consisted of three days of site visits.

The N05 extends in a predominantly east-west direction from its junction with the N59 in the town of Westport, County Mayo, to its junction with the N04 immediately west of Longford Town in the townland of Lisnamuck, County Longford.

The inspection covered all of the N05 National Primary Road. It also extended to cover intersecting roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.

The N05 Longford Bypass, which opened to the public in August 2012, did not form part of this Road Safety Inspection. The Inspection was carried on the route of the N05, through Longford town, as instructed by the NRA.

The N05 is 134km in length (excluding the new N05 Longford bypass and including the section of old N05 through Longford town) and is single carriageway throughout with short sections having hard shoulders and/or climbing lane provisions.

Junctions along the route are predominantly priority type junctions with a number of roundabout junctions in the vicinity of Castlebar, Strokestown and Longford town, a grade separated interchange at the junction with the N17, south of Charlestown, and a signal controlled junction in Longford town at the N05/R198 Main Street junction.

The speed limit is generally 100kph but reduces to 60kph and 50kph through the urban areas.

The route generally traverses rural terrain along with a number of urban and semi-urban locations of varying size including Castlebar, Longford, Ballaghaderreen, Frenchpark, Tulsk and Strokestown.

There have been a number of route treatment works on sections of the N05 between Frenchpark and Strokestown. These improvements included that provision of series’ of single chevron signs on the outside to bends to assist drivers navigating the route. Such improvements were of particularly effective during hours of darkness.
At the time of the Road Safety Inspection site visits road works were on-going in Strokestown.

The N05 cross section incorporates hard shoulders over much of its length with the exception of the section of the route between approximate chainage 64 to 122.
N03

The Road Safety Inspection of the N03 was completed over the period 2nd January 2013 to 28th January 2013 and consisted of two days of site visits.

The Road Safety Inspection was carried out on the single carriageway section of the N03 North of Kells in County Cavan to Ballyshannon in Co Donegal. The N03 runs from Dublin (Navan Road) to Ballyshannon in Co Donegal however the portion from Dublin to the end of the dual carriageway section north of Kells is not within the remit of this Road Safety Inspection.

The N03 reaches the border of County Cavan and Northern Ireland at Teemore where the road becomes the A509 and subsequently the A46 at Enniskillen. The N03 recommences at the border with Donegal for 5km before its termination at its intersection with the N15 National Primary Route.

It also extended to cover intersecting roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.

The portion of the N03 in consideration as part of this Road Safety Inspection is 62km in length and is single carriageway throughout with some sections having hard shoulders. Junctions along the route are predominantly priority type junctions with a number of roundabout junctions at Derver, where the N03 dual carriageway section terminates and intersects with the R147 Regional Road, Pullamore (Cavan) where the N03 intersects with the N55 National Secondary Road & the R212 Regional Road and at Staghall (Belturbet). There are a number of compact grade separated junctions on the Cavan Bypass and at the termination point of the N03 at the N15.
The speed limit is generally 100kph but reduces to 60kph and 50kph through the urban areas.

The route generally traverses rural terrain along with a number of urban and semi-urban locations of varying size including Virginia, Cavan (outskirts), Butler’s Bridge, Belturbet and Ballyshannon.

The Road Safety Inspection of the N55 was completed over the period 28th January 2013 to 22nd March 2013 and consisted of two days of site visits.

This Road Safety Inspection was carried out on the N55 Athlone to Cavan Road. The N55 extends from its junction with the N6 in the townland of Cloghanboy (Homan), County Westmeath, to the south, north to its junction with the N3 in the townland of Pollamore Near, east of Cavan town, County Cavan.

It also extended to cover intersecting roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.

The N55 is 79km in length, it is single carriageway throughout with short section having hard shoulders. Junctions are predominantly priority type junctions with a small number of roundabouts, one at the commencement of the route in Athlone, two in Edgeworthstown where the N55 intersects the N04 National Primary Route, and two at Cavan Town the first of which is 2km from the termination point and the second at the termination point where the N55 intersects the N03 National Primary Route.
The speed limit is generally 100kph but reduces to 60kph and 50kph through the urban areas.

The route is relatively flat over its southern half (i.e. south of Edgeworthstown) and thereafter goes through drumlin type terrain where issues with forward visibility towards junctions are an issue.

There have been a number of improvement works on sections of the road between Granard and Ballinagh and one off-line section that is currently under construction.

The Road Safety Inspection of the N20 was completed over the period 5th June 2013 to 14th June 2013 and consisted of eight days of site visits.
The N20 extends in a predominantly north-south direction from its junction with the N8 National Primary Road in Cork city centre, to its junction with the M7 Motorway immediately south of Limerick city centre.

This included the motorway section between the N21 National Primary Road and the M7 Motorway. It also extended to cover intersecting roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.

The portion of the N20 in consideration as part of this Road Safety Inspection is 96km in length. For the most part the route comprises of single carriageway with, and without, hard shoulders. The route also includes a section of “2+1” carriageway of approximate length 8km and a section of Motorway carriageway of approximate length 10km.

The N20 generally traverses rural terrain along with a number of urban and semi-urban locations of varying size including Blackpool, Mallow, Buttevant and Charleville. Junctions along the route are predominantly priority type junctions with a number of roundabout junctions in the vicinity of Mallow and grade separated interchanges on the motorway section of the route.

The speed limit is generally 100kph but reduces to 60kph and 50kph through the urban areas and increases to 120kph within the motorway section.

 

The Road Safety Inspection of the N20 was completed over the period 6th June 2013 to 12th June 2013 and consisted of two days of site visits.

This Road Safety Inspection was carried out on the N27 National Primary Road. The N27 extends in a predominantly north-south direction from its junction with the N8 National Primary Road in Cork city centre, to its junction with the R600 Regional Road at the Airport Road Roundabout.

The inspection covered the elements of the N27 National Primary Road, which extends between NRA Route Section ID N27CK_10001 to N27CK_10005. It also extended to cover intersecting roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.
The portion of the N27 in consideration as part of this Road Safety Inspection is 5km in length. For the most part the route comprises of a two lane carriageway in both directions with, and without, hard shoulders and/or bus lanes.

The N27 generally traverses urban and semi-urban terrain with pedestrian provision between the junctions with the N40 and R851 and cyclist provisions between the N40 and the Airport Road Roundabout junctions.

The junctions along the route are predominantly signal controlled, with a grade separated interchanges at the N40 junction and a roundabout junction at its southern terminal, at the Airport Road.

The speed limit along the route comprises of 50kph, 60kph & 100kph.

This Road Safety Inspection was carried out over the period 31st October to 5th December and consisted of day and night time site visits on 31st October 2013.
The N30 extends in a predominantly east west direction from its junction with the N11 National Primary Road in Enniscorthy Town, to its junction with the N25 National Primary at the roundabout in New Ross.

The inspection covered the elements of the N30 National Primary Road, which extends between NRA Route Section ID N30WX_000.1 to N30WX_033.2. It also extended to cover intersecting roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.
The portion of the N30 in consideration as part of this Road Safety Inspection is 33km in length. The route for the most part is a single lane carriageway both with and without hard shoulders.

The N30 generally traverses rural domain except for the towns of Enniscorthy where it commences, the town of Clonroche which it passes through and the town of New Ross where it terminates.

The junctions along the route are predominantly priority junctions, with a roundabout junction in Enniscorthy and a roundabout junction where is meets the N25 in New Ross.

The speed limits along the route comprises of 50kph, 60kph & 100kph.

The Road Safety Inspection was carried out over the period 29th November to 18th December 2013 and consisted of day and night time site visits.

The N52 extends in a predominantly north-east to south-west direction from its junction with the N02 National Primary Road in Ardee, Co Louth to its interchange (Junction 26) with the M07 National Primary route and the R445 Regional Road South of Nenagh in County Tipperary.

The road between Ardee and Dundalk in County Louth is signed as being part of the N52 however this section has been reclassified and did not form part of the inspection.

The inspection covered the elements of the N52 National Secondary Road, which extends between NRA Route Section ID N52LH_001.0 to. N52TY_177.4. It also extended to cover intersecting roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.
There are a number of sideroads along the route that do not have a sign displaying their local road number. In the Spreadsheet in appendix B these roads have be referred to as Un-named Side Road with numerical references e.g. USR 3.

The portion of the N52 in consideration as part of this Road Safety Inspection is 178km in length. The route is a single carriageway road however the cross section and the quality of the alignment vary considerably throughout the route. The route can be sub divided into 3 types of route;

  • Sections where there is a hard shoulder and an alignment that generally meets current standards
  • Sections where there is no hard shoulder and a very substandard alignment and
  • Sections through urban areas.

These sub route types are dispersed throughout the route and as a result it is difficult to define general route characteristics of the N52. This variance in standard gives the impression to a driver that the N52 is being upgraded in a piecemeal basis with the aim to have a single carriageway with hard shoulders throughout with local bypasses of urban areas to be undertaken.

The N52 passes through a number of urban area but also bypasses others. These urban areas are as follows;

  • Ardee
  • Carlanstown
  • Clonmellon
  • Delvin
  • Kilcormac
  • Fivealley
  • Birr
  • Ballingarry
  • Borrisokane

The urban areas that the N52 bypasses are as follows

  • Kells
  • Mullingar (Staggered between Junction 15 and Junction 16 of N04)
  • Tyrrellspass and Kilbeggan (Staggered between Junction 4 and Junction 5 of the M06)
  • Tullamore
  • Mucklagh
  • Nenagh

There are a variety of junction types along the route. The majority of side road junctions are priority junctions. In the urban bypasses of Kells and Nenagh the junctions are mainly roundabouts. Where the route is staggered across the N04 at Mullingar and the M06 south of Kilbeggan the junctions are grade separated as is the termination junction with the M07 and the R445. The N52 is itself staggered where is crosses the R162 north east of Kells in County Meath. The N52 has priority junctions with a number of national routes as follows;

  • N02 at Ardee
  • N51 at Delvin
  • N62 North of Birr
  • N65 at Borrisokane

The speed limits along the route comprises of 50kph, 60kph 80kph and 100kph. There are a number of special speeds limits along the route where although the route passes through a rural area the speed limit is reduced to 80kph from the standard 100kph for national routes to better reflect the actual design speed to the road. This applies at the following locations;

  • Throughout the rural portion where the route is in County Meath.

For a portion of the route south of Delvin and north of Mullingar in County Westmeath.

This Road Safety Inspection was carried out over the period 21st November 2013 to 29th January 2014 and consisted of day and night time site visits.
The N80 extends in a predominantly north-east to south-west direction from its junction with the N52 National Secondary Road in Tullamore, County Offaly to its junction with the N11 National Primary Road approximately 5km north of Enniscorthy in County Wexford.
The road crosses the M09 National Primary Route just south of Carlow town. The route traverses three counties; namely the Offaly; Carlow and; Wexford.

The inspection covered the elements of the N80 National Secondary Road, which extends between NRA Route Section ID N80OY_001.0 to. N80WX_114.5. It also extended to cover intersecting roads as far as the location of the Advance Direction Sign (ADS), where present, or to 200m from the mainline in the absence of an ADS.

The portion of the N80 under consideration as part of this Road Safety Inspection is 114km in length. The route is a single carriageway road, however the cross section and the quality of the alignment vary considerably throughout the route.

The route can be broadly sub-divided into three types of route;

  • Sections with a hard-shoulder and a good alignment;
  • Sections without a hard-shoulder and a poor alignment; and
  • Sections through urban areas.

The route is generally of a high speed nature with good overtaking provision over the majority of its length.

The N80 passes through a number of urban area, as follows: –

  • Mountmellick
  • Portlaoise
  • Stradbally
  • Ballickmoyler
  • Arles
  • Killeigh
  • Ballon
  • Bunclody

The N80 also bypasses, or passes through the periphery, of some urban areas , as follows: –

  • Carlow
  • Kildavin

There are a variety of junction types along the route. The majority of side road junctions are priority junctions. In the urban bypass of Carlow the junctions are mainly roundabouts. For the bypass of Kildavin the intersection is a grade-separated junction, with one-way ramps on the southern side of the town and a two-way priority junction to the north.

The route is staggered across the N78 between Stradbally and Arles, in a priority junction layout, and crosses under the M09 south of Carlow where the M09 is accessed via two roundabout junctions with the N80. The N80 terminates to the south at a roundabout junction with the N11 north of Enniscorthy.

The speed limits along the route include 50kph, 60kph 80kph and 100kph zones.

This Road Safety Inspection was carried out on the N59 National Secondary Road over the period of 22nd May 2014 to 21st August 2014. The N59 extends from Its starting point, a grade separated junction with the N04 National Primary Route and the R292 north of Ballysadare in Co. Sligo to its termination point at the signalised junction between Thomas Hynes Road and Newcastle Upper, approximately 2km northwest of Galway City Centre. In total the route is 298km in length.

A previous Road Safety Inspection was undertaken on the portion of the N59 between Clifden and Maam Cross a length of approximately 35km. (NRA Route Section ID N59GY_224.2 to N59GY_258.0). That inspection took place in December 2013 and was undertaken as part of the design development of the N59 Maam Cross to Clifden Improvement Scheme.

The N59 national secondary route is 298km in length. The route is a single carriageway road and apart from some localised realignment schemes it is of narrow cross section without hard shoulders.

The N59 is predominantly a rural route passing through areas of scenic landscapes and tourist attractions. The route passes through a number of urban areas. The main urban areas are as follows;

  • Ballysadare, Ballina, Crossmolina, Bangor, Mulranny, Newport, Westport, Leenaun, Clifden, Oughterard, Moycullen and Galway.

The junctions along the route are predominantly priority junctions. There are signalised junctions in Galway, Moycullen, Westport and Ballina. There are also a number of signal controlled pedestrian crossing facilities along the route within the urban areas. The route commences with a grade separate junction with the N04 National Primary Route. There are a number of mini roundabouts through the urban area of Ballina.

There is a combined cycle path / footpath known as the ‘Great Western Greenway’ adjacent to the N59 and which crosses the N59 at a number of locations between Mulranny and Westport.

The route has a posted speed limit of 100km/hr. except in build-up areas where it decreases to 60km/hr. or 50km/hr. The actual speed travelled by the majority of vehicles is less than 100km/hr. due to the substandard alignment and cross section of the road.

This was the first RSI to trial the use of the Ubipix App to carry out Road Safety Inspections. The Ubipix App allows you to track your route via a GPS file. On the Ubipix website the videos from the site visit are uploaded and the safety issues highlighted in the inspection can be tagged on the video, providing a screenshot of the problem and its location via the GPS file. PMCE Ltd. have been working with the National Roads Authority (NRA) and Ubipix, based in NUI Maynooth, to develop the most efficient way in using Ubipix to carry out these inspections.