Steering clear of trouble and not going MAD on the M17

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Driving cars, motorcycles, tractors and lorries has become part of the normal life for the vast majority of people living in the relative luxury of the first world experience. Roads for the most part give us a reasonable degree of pleasure and especially if we’re old enough to own a reasonably decent vehicle, but sometimes we do take for granted the relative driving luxury that’s afforded to us by half-decent roads.

On a recent late Friday afternoon trip to the city (not a good time to travel) there was a certain sense of luxury about slipping onto the M17 motorway and then the M6 before heading into the city with the cruise control set at the 120 mark (well really 122!).

There are of course different breeds of motorway drivers . . . the ones who tip along on the inside lane at 100km/h; the ‘ordinary lads’ who are just content with passing out the odd lorry here and there; and of course the impatient ‘fliers’ who come withing 72 inches of your back bumper if you happen to be overtaking on the outside lane.

Those latter breed of drivers normally fit into the A, B or G category vehicles (I let our enlightened readers figure out the makes for themselves), and thankfully I’m long past the stubborn stage of keeping such drivers waiting a bit longer on the outside lane.

I do though take a certain amount of pleasure from the A, B and G speed merchants with flashing headlights and noisy horns being held up by a ‘slow coach’ on the outside lane as one gently glides by on the left. Sometimes, there just has to be a God.

There are travel writers who bemoan the motorway and dual carriage networks that traverse most advanced countries on the basis that you miss seeing the ‘real Ireland’  but on that Friday afternoon when I travelled into the ‘big smoke’, I realised on the return journey how convenient the new roads are.

Pictured: Motorways . . . one of the big advances on Irish road networks. 

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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