Throughout lockdown, our ace team of traffic and travel investigators have been WFH, researching, broadcasting and watching the roads. Some Roadwatchers headed back to their home counties before the lockdown and are still working remotely from there. Now that we’ve entered Phase 2 of the roadmap for reopening the country, we wanted to find out where they are looking forward to visiting.
Before we hear from them, it’s important to make note of a few tweaks that have been made to our nation’s roads whilst we’ve all been in lockdown. If you’re planning a trip, bear in mind that there have been changes to road layouts in towns and cities. These are to allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists and include wider footpaths, new cycle lanes and a new phenomenon to many, orcas. Orcas are a type of bollard that are fixed into the road to create a barrier between the bike lane and the main road. If you’re travelling by car, you should give pedestrians and cyclists extra space to allow for social distancing.
If you’re a public transport user there are few things to make a note of. Many public transport timetables have returned to normal but capacity is reduced on most services to allow for physical distancing. If you must use public transport, you are advised to pay with a Leap Card and wear a face covering where possible. We’ve got details on how to pay your fare contactless, here. Make sure to leave extra time for your journey, and check with service websites for any changes to timetables and frequency before setting out.
Now that you’re more informed, let’s see where our Roadwatchers will be heading to.
I’m lucky enough to live within 5km of the sea, so I feel that asking for anything more now that restrictions are being lifted is greedy. But, I will see more friends, maybe have a drink in a garden, and hopefully see the man who paddles down the Grand Canal with his dog on his paddle board.
I’ve been living out the lockdown in Kildare – the flattest county in Ireland – so, there’ll be no hiking for me until July I reckon. That said, I can count the amount of times I’ve hiked on my two hands, and really what I’d much rather do is get an extra large 99 with sprinkles (no, there wasn’t even a 99 within my 5k – I was really deprived). I’ll have to do some walks to burn it off of course, in which case I’ll probably trek along the Grand Canal from Digby Bridge to beyond, take a stroll in Castletown House, or retreat back to my 5km radius to my old favourite, Donadea Forest Park.
I’m looking forward to playing basketball at my favourite court. It’s about 8km away, so I haven’t been in ages. I had thought of putting up a hoop in my back garden but I saved my neighbours from the potentially distressing sound of repetitive bounces. I hope they appreciate the sacrifices I have made.
The one thing I’m most excited for is a visit to the beach in Dublin. Growing up in Galway I lived right beside the coast, and since moving to Dublin I’ve never made a trip to the seaside. With the good weather it’s definitely something I miss the most and I’m excited to get exploring!
I have two options now that the radius has been extended. Option number one involves venturing south towards Dublin city centre to scope out a burrito – my first burrito in MONTHS. Option number two would bring me north to the likes of Skerries and Donabate for some much needed sea air and ice cream. Decisions, decisions…
For live traffic and travel news, AA Roadwatch is always there. If you’re an AA member and need to access AA Rescue services as we enter Phase 2, they are also ready to assist whenever you need help. Just call 0818 667788.