Driving tips for Ireland 03
USEFUL TIPS (cont.)
- Bus lanes: When in urban areas (including dual-carriageways), you will frequently see bus lanes. The majority of these are part-time; they only operate at peak times (typically 0700-1000, 1600-1900); all bus lanes have signs which indicate period of operation. At other times you can drive in them but - be warned - you are effectively driving on the inside (non-driver's side). This means that cars in the lane beside the bus lane who want to turn left often cut into the bus lane without warning. An increasingly number of bus lanes continue into dedicated bus gates where an electronic device is required to trigger the traffic lights. Obviously you won't have one, so you need to rely on the good nature of those queueing and indicate into the inside lane. Many people do not realize that bus lanes are often part-time and suspect you of breaking the law by driving in them - therefore expect some hostile stares, occasional honking and some blocking when you attempt to rejoin another lane!
- Speeding and hire cars: Don't think that driving a hired car exempts you from speeding charges. While you won't get penalty points if you have a non-Irish driving licence, the hire car will bill you for the speeding fine. There are an increasing number of fixed and mobile cameras in Ireland; many are concealed and not necessarily visible on approach.
- GPS - worth hiring or bringing?: Yes! worth bringing/hiring a GPS if you're driving in cities
- Jet lag - don't give yourself long and difficult drives from airports into cities. Many visitors to Ireland make the classic mistake of having a long drive from the airport. Stay somewhere near to your airport and, if possible, have a daylight opportunity to experience Ireland's roads for the first time.
- Getting fuel at service stations- Although the Republic has an emerging and developing system of motorways, you will find no service/fuel stations directly situated on these roads. To get petrol or diesel you must exit to the nearest town. This might be a problem is you are driving on the M1 north since it is mainly motorway to the border with Northern Ireland. For most other routes you will currently find limited sections of motorway which will eventually become dual-carriageways or single-carriageways, where you are bound to find a petrol station. If you are in a hire car and returning to Dublin airport, there is a petrol station in the airport complex but does not offer the best prices. So fill up before you get there and top up at the airport's petrol station. For motorists returning with a car from the northern counties, you can leave the M1 at Balbriggan or Swords and find a petrol station offering reasonable prices. Remember that fuel prices in Northern Ireland are considerably more expensive that in the Republic.
- The reason? To protect the commerical interests of small towns and villages in rural Ireland who would probably go out of business if they could no longer make money from fuel sales.
- you will find a satellite navigation system particularly useful in the Republic since they can show you the location of petrol stations.
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