M50 (Republic of Ireland)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Dublin Port (O187347)|
|Distance:||41.4 km (25.7 miles)|
|Meets:||N1, M1, N2, N3, N4, N7, M11, M32|
|Route outline (key)|
The M50, forming three-quarters of a ring road around Dublin, is one of the most important and significant motorways in the Republic of Ireland. The road is particularly notable for the Dublin Port Tunnel, allowing access to the port, reducing freight traffic travelling through the Dublin suburbs.
- 1 Route
- 2 History
- 3 Future
- 4 Links
The M50 starts at Dublin Port, not far from the city centre, it immediately has toll booths for the Dublin Port Tunnel, which takes us to near the edge of the urban area. Having emerged from under the ground, and merged with the N1, it TOTSOs with the M1 near Dublin Airport and joins the C road - so called because of its shape. We skirt around the edge of Dublin's urban area, crossing the Liffey on a tolled bridge. For many years, the bridge had toll gates, which themselves caused congestion, however, in the mid-2010s free flow "video" tolling was introduced on the route, requiring drivers to either create a free account and top up from card, or to pay afterwards via internet, telephone, or in local shops. The removal of barriers has reduced congestion considerably travelling around Dublin.
Continuing south, we pass more of Dublin's radial routes before eventually reaching M11 near Bray. Unlike at the M1 to the north, here the M50 flows freely onto the M11 to head south further into County Wicklow, with the northbound M11 traffic itself TOTSOing on approach to Dublin.
The Section from J3 to J2 was formerly the M1.
The Northern Cross Route (between J3 and J6) opened on 6 December 1996.
2006-10 - The M50 Upgrade: Motorway Widening
A massive widening project was undertaken between March 2006 and September 2010 - during which all the junctions with primary routes were changed from roundabout interchanges to complex, free-flowing (except the N3 Junction) interchanges at a cost of around €1bn.
This took place in the form of three contracts:
Contract 1: Junction 7 to 10
Contract 2: Junction 3 to 6 and Junction 10 to 14
Contract 3: Junction 6 to 7
This contract was to upgrade capacity to D4M and remove the toll plaza, which was replaced with free-flow tolling.
Since then the bulk of the road, other than the port tunnel section, has been operated by M50concession.
In October 2018, it was announced that Transport Infrastructure Ireland were looking at the introduction of legislation to apply variable speed limits onto the M50.
Other plans have been detailed at various times for an eastern bypass of Dublin, see: TII: 2011 Eastern Bypass Corridor Protection Study
Transport Infrastructure Ireland
PPP operators of M50 M50Concession
- RTE: Medieval Fort on Motorway Route (Discovery of Carrickmines Castle) (2002)
- Irish Examiner: Motorists to deal with changing speed limits on M50 to increase traffic flow (16.10.2018)