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 What you need to know about Ireland's Roads                                                                                           

If you are planning on a Irish driving holiday then it will be helpful to find some information on Ireland’s road network before you go. If you are visiting Ireland rather than Northern Ireland then you need to know that there are some significant differences in the South, particularly the speed limits and the nature of the sign posts. In the Republic of Ireland, roads are classified either as Motorways, signified by the letter M and the route number, or National roads, Regional roads, and local roads, each signified by their first letter, e.g. N and then the route number, e.g. a National road might be N5. Before you go away you should arrange your car rental Dublin is the capital city and most of the motorways are in and around that area. There are two types of National roads in the South and these are National primary routes and National secondary routes. N1 - N11 are the main National Primary Roads from Dublin; the Dublin to Limerick route is the N7, and the routes that go across country are N12 - N33. The total of National Primary Roads in Ireland is estimated at 2,700 kilometres, it is also estimated that there are the same amount of National Secondary routes in Southern Ireland alone. The main difference between these two types of National Roads is that those on the Primary route are dual carriageway and those on the Secondary are single carriageway. By far the largest number of routes in the south are the Regional roads, of which there are 11,500 kilometres. They are prefixed with the letter R followed by 3 digit numbers.  

In the Republic, distance is measured in kilometres, and on regional roads the speed limit is 80 km per hour. Road signs are in both English and Gaelic in the South. Warning signs have a black and yellow background and are diamond shaped. Local roads are given the letter L and this applies to the wide urban streets as well as the boreens, or narrow, winding, country lanes. Once you understand the road network, then driving a rental car is the best way to get around the Republic of Ireland.



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  Road Signs Ireland images from Wikipedia.  This page:  What you need to know about Irelands Roads