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How accurate are the AA Ireland driving times?

How accurate are the AA Ireland driving times?

May 23rd, 2007, 12:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 27
How accurate are the AA Ireland driving times?

My DH and another couple will be traveling to Ireland in Oct. How accurate are the AA Ireland driving times? Are they just a ball park? It would be helpful in trip planning if we knew approximately how long it takes to get from A to Z. From what I've read in the different threads, it seems to take longer than in the US. Thanks for your thoughts!
ksaras is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 12:07 PM
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If you were born and raised (and learned to drive) in Ireland, they MIGHT be spot on. For us mere mortal visitors though, it would be best to take their Total Miles Driven figure and divide it by 35 -- 30 on the first day, short trips and Scenic Drives.

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 12:15 PM
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The driving times are highly optimistic. The rule of thumb that I always give is take the mileage and divide by 30 for most roads and 35 for Motorways. THat will give you a more accurate idea of the driving times.

Driving in Ireland is vastly different from the states. The roads are more narrow and there are a lot more curves and blind areas. There is also traffic hazards such as pedestrians, bicyclists, sheep, cattle, large trucks, tour buses and farm machinery. Throw in to that mix weather conditions and you can understand why I say 30 - 35 is your max speed on most roads.

Slan Beo,

CowboyCraic is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 12:17 PM
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While there are some fast routes, plan to average 40 mph on major roads and less on secondary ones.
TimS is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Just add 50% to their estimated drive time. You'll usually get there is less than your "corrected" time but at least you'll have some leeway if you need to get some place at a specific time for a show or tour.
eyes is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Averages are highly misleading. It depends very much on the trip you are making.

In best conditions, you can average 60-70 mph on motorways, 50-60 mph on national roads (designated N##) and 40-50 mph on secondary roads (designated R###). For example, I can drive the 50 miles from my home to Dublin in about an hour (but it can take another hour from the edge of the city to reach the city centre).

The complication is that you don't get best conditions very often, and how much your speed falls below my suggestions varies greatly because of local variables that I, as an Irish resident, can usually predict and you probably can not.

Outside the greater Dublin area, which is generally choked with traffic, you can comfortably average 40+ mph for a journey on motorways or national roads, and 30+ mph on secondary roads. Don't use that guideline for time-critical journeys such as heading for a plane.
Padraig is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 12:40 PM
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"How accurate are the AA Ireland driving times? " -- as you can see from the above responses - not very.

Most drives will take MUCH longer than in the States. the 30-40 mph estimates depending on the road area is pretty close. In scenic/rural areas you will do much nearer 30 than 40.
janisj is online now  
May 23rd, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Posts: 27
Well, then I guess I better get out my calculator!
Thanks for your help! Kathi
ksaras is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 02:13 PM
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AA driving times are based on straight running, no stops, and are at best only a guide. Between far-apart destinations they give you an idea of what's do-able in a day and what's not.
Within 1 day's tripping, I divide miles by 40 to calculate, then count the number of places I might want to stop at and add 15mins-1hr for each depending on whether I'll be hitting those places at a mealtime or not. Some of this is guesswork of course, but I try to err on the generous side as far as stopping places and times are concerned.
twoflower is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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There are very few 4 lane roads. We were unable to pass many times because of the trucks and long lines of traffic. This was in late April.
bluesmusic is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Just got back from our second trip (had a blast!) and even when I found that *I* was perhaps comfortable doing posted speeds, there were other factors that didn't allow it -- things like less experienced tourists, slow farm equipment, traffic or even sheep.

The N71 through Killarney National Park, which is probably never very fast in the first place, was ripped up on Monday morning for resurfacing/replacement and we had at least a 10 minute wait while they alternated 1 lane of traffic.

So I always plan on longer than I think it will take and consider an early arrival as Bouns Time to do more exploring or whatever.
jefe is offline  
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