Saturday, 2 July 2011

Wicklow County Council and "closed" car parks on Military Road

Much as I give out about the place, there are some things I have always liked about Dublin and, well, Ireland.

Not many, mind, but the ability to get out of the city relatively easily and into the rather grandiosely titled Wicklow Mountains is one – and all thanks to Alexander Taylor’s Military Road (R115), built between 1800 and 1809.

Although it is rather bumpy and bockety in places – I think its foundations are wood on bog, and maintenance is infrequent - it is a lovely road with great visibility due to the lack of hedgerows and trees. It has seen service as a Circuit of Ireland Rally stage, and it is easy to see why.

If you are coming out of Dublin, and do a right at the Sally Gap, the R759 is a lot smoother on its undulating descent towards Blessington and Kilbride. It is worth staying alert though, as the picture of the bridge across the infant River Liffey (above), and its sharp left turn, shows. You can see a small car park to the side of the road… an increasingly rare sight.

It seems that Wicklow County Council has taken to depositing piles of gravel in other car parks in the vicinity (see pic right).

It did it a couple of years back with the car park at Lough Bray on the Military Road - which is full of gravel to this day.  Now it has done the same with the one just to the left as you approach the Sally Gap (pic was taken coming from the other direction).

Given that there are no visible road improvement works – at least I did not see any – is it a council ploy, in conjunction with Failte Ireland, to prevent people (and I’ll even include tourists here, gullible fools that they are) stopping their cars and admiring the views?

Why create car parks and then fill them up with gravel? Anti-social behaviour? Well why not deal with that rather than closing off every bloody car park and viewing point in Wicklow?

Once again, it seems we are back to our lazy authorities, whose enthusiasm for effort stops as soon as they have taken our taxes from us.

Just as well Alexander Taylor was not as work-shy.

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Dakota said...

GM Dublin is exceptionaly fortunate when it comes to geographic location. With the Wicklow Mountains to the south and the Sea to the East, these are natural resources which any capital city would envy. Problems start when the human element is added, it is Dublin afterall.
With regards to the Alexander Taylor road (another great resource wasted due to the fecklessness and stupidity of the local council) I often thought, what type of road and rail network we would have without British influence? I always come to the same conclusion, which is, there would have been very little, as Ireland has virtually no natural resources to speak of. A fact conveniently forgotten by generations of policy makers in this land. If the EU never stepped in rickshaws would be the favoured mode of transport in Dublin by now.

The Gombeen Man said...

It's true, Dakota. I rememberer living in London for the best part of 9 years, and it was a real ordeal to "get away from it"... don't think I ever did, actually! Dublin's setting is a nice one, but yeah... pity about so many of the folk.

I remember some years back seeing maps of Ireland's railways prior to, and after, independence. I think there was a general trend to rip up railways in other countries, as road transport took off, but I doubt if it was done with the gusto you had here. Maybe railways were seen as too "British" by Dev and the rest of them?

Remember, this was a man who wanted to flatten Dublin's Georgian squares because the saw them an "alien" influences. He would have had us living in whitewashed cottages with a few pigs running about the place to keep it homely.

The arsehole.

Dakota said...

Yep GM road replaced rail as the new trend. But hypothetically if Britain never invaded the Island of OIREEEELAND and we had free reign, we would not have had the level of investment we had, if we were just relying on transporting spuds or cattle to the nearest market. The natural resourses were never there to provide the incentive and economic impetous. The Irish had 90 years with economic boom for 16 of those years and just look at the mess. Imagine if that 90 was 900 years!

The Gombeen Man said...

Oh Jaysus... don't want to think about it, D.

Harald75 said...

I realize you were close to us and did not stop for a cuppa ... again ;-)

The Gombeen Man said...

Harald - I might take you up on that, the next time, if you are not careful! ;-)

Harald75 said...

I could very well live with that GM :)