Care urged as thousands on the move


With thousands of people on the move in the final rush to get home for Christmas today, gardaí have urged motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to take particular care on the roads.

AA Roadwatch has warned travellers to expect traffic as people make their way home and to be patient with other road users.

Gardaí made an appeal to all road users today. “We’re appealing to everybody to refocus on their driving behaviour, to watch out and be seen and to wear high visibility clothing”, Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid of the Garda National Traffic Bureau said .

Between Christmas Eve last year and New Year’s Eve six lives were lost on the road last year, four of whom were pedestrians, he said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

He said 2012 was likely to be a record year for road safety. There have been 160 deaths on the roads so far this year down from 180 in 2012. There had been a “whole change of culture” in the State to improving road safety, he said.

Daily between 4pm and 8pm was the most dangerous time on the roads, with Sunday evening on rural and local roads the highest risk time.

Yesterday was the busiest day at Dublin Airport this festive season, with 71,000 passengers travelling through. The airport will be closed tomorrow and will reopen on St Stephen’s Day.

A total of 620,000 passengers are expected to fly into and out of the airport during the Christmas period.

Shannon Airport is the only airport which will stay open throughout the holiday, with two flights due in tomorrow for refuelling. The airport is also the destination for most overflying transatlantic aircraft if they get into difficulty and need to land.

There were some delays to flights from the UK on Saturday due to winds, while a flight from Warsaw diverted to Shannon because of winds at Dublin. About 36,000 people are expected to travel through the airport over the holiday period.

Train services will end at 9pm tonight, with no trains running tomorrow or on St Stephen’s Day.

Passengers travelling after Wednesday should check with Iarnród Éireann, as normal services will not return until next week.

There were delays to some trains between Westport and Dublin, and Clara and Tullamore yesterday after trees fell on lines.

Iarnród Éireann said 400,000 people would use their services over the festive period.

Dublin Bus will also stop running most routes at about 9pm tonight. There will be no buses running tomorrow; services will return on St Stephen’s Day operating a Sunday schedule. Normal services will return on Thursday .

Bus Éireann will not operate tomorrow; buses will return on St Stephen’s Day with a reduced service. Some 300,000 people will use the buses over the period.

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