Last Saturday was a gloriously sunny day so I thought we would take one of our favourite jaunts along one of the finest stretches of coastline in the country. No, I speak not of West Cork nor the Dingle Peninsula or of Connemara or Donegal’s Bloody Foreland but much closer to home. For me the coastal drive, in either direction, between Tramore to Bonmahon and beyond – the Copper Coast, is a beauty to behold. With its many coves, beaches, rugged headlands, it is for me a bracelet of many charms. The waves glistened enchantingly in this glorious sun-kissed day of May. Annestown’s cove/beach was heavenly in its beauty in a way I never truly sensed before. And so on we journeyed to enjoy each eyeful of blissful charm along the way.

Waterford is such a beautiful county with such a wonderful coastline, its magnificent mountain landscapes and luscious river ways and yet it is under-marketed. Its beautiful bounty of varied vistas both rural and urban seems to be a national and international secret. I know there have been campaigns from time to time to promote tourism here and some worthwhile tourism products developed but nothing like enough.

This weekend I came across a fabulous supplement promoting Killarney’s charms as a tourist destination in the travel section of the Sunday Times. Waterford has as much if not more to offer – let’s shout about it from the roof-tops or whisper it confidently where it matters. We will not turn this economy around hoping more multi-nationals will bring back the jobs – we got to get out there and do it ourselves.

As for the city, we really need to get our act together there – it has so much potential and yet this not really being realised. People locally are voting with their feet, as there has been significant decrease in footfall. The previous weekend I was in Kilkenny and the place had a great buzz about it – I was looking but didn’t notice a single business/shop premises vacant. Our city centre traders have become acutely aware of a different story in Waterford and now I hope an all out effort will be made to turn this around. If we are to succeed in making this city local-shopping friendly then that will be a major step in making it tourist friendly as well.

A more shopping-friendly parking policy would be a big help ach sin sceal eile! Talking about scealta eile here’s another one I want to get off my chest, as I’m at it!

Seeing Red

Or maybe it’s rather a case of not seeing red or even worse still ignoring it altogether or perhaps, I’m just rushing to judgement in that an awful lot of people are colour blind. Which ever is the reason, watch out as an alarming number of people are not even so much as amber gambling but literally going for broke in crashing red traffic lights! There are all kinds of ways of having a smash hit but this one is deadly not to say bloody messy. It’s down to a selfish recklessness and to hell with the other guy kind of attitude. But I’m given to understand that there’s no jumping the lights at St Peter’s Portal that these guys are seemingly intent on reaching.

No, it’s far from a joke and I raise it here as I have noticed a greatly increased incidence of flaunting amber completely and brazenly persisting through ‘red’ even though it is already showing green on the opposing traffic side. The bigger the bolder, of course. The ‘lights’ at the Car Stand is a notorious example of this practice but there are other contenders for this dubious title of ‘worst offender’.

This matches another observation of roadway manners or more pertinently, the lack of, in the reluctance of some drivers (believe it or not)to make way for an in- service ambulance as it rushes to or from an accident where time is usually of the essence. Given the tightness of much of the Dunmore Road from hospital/town or vice/versa it is imperative to move over quickly.

Most normal civilised people do so, not only out a healthy sense of public concern but also with the thought that the reason for the rush could well be you or yours someday. But sadly I have noticed an increase in number of this crew of the selfish few. A good noisy blast of your horn would be in order here!

What Tail- Backs?

I think my first column was about the traffic volumes on the Dunmore Road and the seemingly never-ending tailbacks and despite this thousands of more houses were being added. We returned to this obvious wearisome topic on many an occasion especially following days when some kind of record of traffic-induced chaos was being broken! But nothing stays the same- over the past few months I have noticed a marked decline/reduction in the infamous morning tail-back.

The reason that this has been happening is in itself not a happy one as I suspect that this dramatic reduction is due to the economic recession and the consequent job losses or short time working. And as such this is reflected in the volumes of traffic. A few weeks ago I left the house here in Brasscockland at about 8 o’clock am to do some early business in town and so left in good time as previous experiences had taught me to make serious provision for the very slow- moving morning rush-hour traffic. I could not believe that I drove as far as the Tower Hotel traffic lights before I caught up with another car! So very much a mixed-feelings story, as while its dandy and handy to have all this traffic relief, I do not welcome the reason for it.

Chill Out

If there were a choice then there’s no argument and so after years of moaning about the daily traffic drag is it such a big deal after all? But then again ‘ there are none as quare as folk’.

My good friend Wally Wiseacre has this take on ‘twaffic tails’ and what puzzles him is why such a fuss is made, here there and every where now, of long lines of traffic. What’s the rush and being in a traffic queue you can’t rush there anyway. So sit back and ‘carpe diem’ and relax. Every queue is just the cue to chill out in the luxury of the modern automobile.

Any decent car now is equipped with the latest audio-technology and even quadraphonic sound. Yes, chill out man to the Thrills( remember them?) or rock to Rossini! What with inner heating of these body/botty hugging masterships of sedantry technology (car seats!) what a comfort zone of delight is there to becalm and amuse. Why in the name of the divine should such a driver want to get to the job asap. Delusions of indespensibilty is a dodgey syndrome and needs watching. It is only then you will see long queues of traffic as opportunities to be grasped with relish as a positive rather than the negativity of frustration.

Tell the high priests of AA Road
Watch as they preside over the island of Ireland each morning and evening, to take a hike for them selves as you are busily and blissfully jamming along to a band on your motor R-A-D-I-O! So chill out guys and gals!


Go Seachtain Eile, Slan.