Re: Re: Keeping up appearances

Home Forums Ireland Keeping up appearances Re: Re: Keeping up appearances


I don’t post often being mainly a lurker here however I just have to comment on this issue. Coming from a Northern Ireland perspective the state of streetscapes in the Republic is quite shocking. Signposts are usually an incoherent mess of twisted finger posts and randomly tacked on tourist signs. There appears to be no order or indeed thought given to a logical approach.

The contrast in the standards of footpath paving is probably even greater from one side of the border to the other. Up here a mix of high quality paving is used in urban centres, redevelopment schemes, parks etc. Less important streets will at least enjoy one of a number of reasonably smart cobblelock finishes. Then outside these plusher locations a still reasonable finish of a sort of HRA (hot roled tarmac) with either attrative white or red chips used alongside proper kerbing and dropped areas for wheel chairs. Down there, as in NI, the ‘fancy’ areas of towns and cities are usually attractively paved – though the tie in neatly of one new development to surrounding areas is clearly still a bit of a foreign concept. However, it’s when you get to residential areas and ‘ordinary’ streets that the standards go through the floor. Mouldy green/brown and cracked concrete is to be found everywhere. Kerbs seem to be unheard of – councils instead opting for the half-arsed approach of leaving the bare edge of the poured concrete to suffice. Frequently, as in the pic above, this proceeds to break off due to the stresses on a poorly laid surface of vehicles mounting the pavement.

Then theres road markings. While the authorities down there seem just about able to mark out the dashed line in the middle of the road more complex markings at junctions often don’t exist or are never maintained. The most confusing practice is the one where the road layout has changed but the old road markings haven’t been adequately ‘blacked out’ before the new ones have been painted on. Result: a sort of council sponsored mess of street grafitti that’d be more in keeping with the paint splattered legs of the Tour de France.

In less central urban areas of smaller towns weeds seem to never be sprayed and park and recreation areas seem to often be unkempt in the extreme. I can think of numerous public laybys and recreation areas throughout the north west of the Republic – conveniently close to me in Fermanagh – that have never been fully finished or maintained. Concrete bollards are broken or leaning over, fencing falling appart, weeds literally everywhere, cracked concrete seats, crumbing walls and the obligatory leaning or twisted signage jabbed into the ground like carelessly thrown javelins. It often beggars belief.

Oh and did I forget to mention the brilliant idea when actually putting down the rare tarmac footpath of using the cheapo crumbly asphalt whithout first putting down a barrier membrane. Result: weeds sprouting everywhere through the surface after a year or two.

Anyway, I could go on but contrasting pictures of such schemes on each side of the border would be much more informative than my ramblings here.

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