Driving home for Christmas? It's gonna take some time, says AA

AA Ireland said the Christmas holiday season will bring bumper-to-bumper traffic.

"Christmas is still likely to cause some issues for motorists as AA Roadwatch warn drivers to expect jammed roads in the final days before Christmas," it said.

The traffic information provider said traffic levels in Ireland are at their heaviest in recent years and this is unlikely to ease off over the holidays.

Commuter traffic is expected to taill off throughout the week but it will not be until Friday before we see any major drop offs in traffic. However, this will likely result in busier traffic at shopping centres and towns around the country this weekend as punters attempt to get last minute gifts. The worst delays are expected in commuter towns.

    AA Rescue tips to ensure your Christmas in a merry one:

  • Not all service stations are open on the 25th – remember to fuel-up in advance using the correct fuel type<
  • 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, AA Membership card, torch, warning triangle

“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 December 22 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,” she added.

As for Christmas Day itself, AA Roadwatch said traffic will be light as people are most likely to stay in and spend the day with family or friends and this will also likely be the case on St Stephen’s Day. However, on December 27 local town centres are likely to experience heavy congestion due to retail sales, for which AA Roadwatch are advising shoppers to leave early to avoid queues.

    AA Roadwatch are 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

- Digital Desk

KEYWORDS: Christmas, Roads


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