Two cafes planned for truckers on the M1 have been given the go-ahead on the condition they serve the breakfast roll beloved of truck drivers, builders and commuters.
The National Roads Authority (NRA) is to include a mandatory requirement that restaurants to be based at two service stations on the M1 must sell the popular jumbo breakfast roll, immortalised in song by comedian Pat Shortt.
Outlining the "mandatory contract requirements" for operators of the rest areas, Pat Maher, of the NRA, told a planning hearing yesterday that the main restaurant to be located on site would serve a full breakfast, "including breakfast rolls", which are made up of sausages, bacon and egg.
But he said the health conscious would also be catered for, as a "healthy breakfast alternative" must also be provided.
The NRA plans to build at least a dozen rest areas on the country's motorways and dual carriageways at intervals of 60km apart. Each would provide food, toilet facilities, a shop, petrol station, picnic area and rest areas for long-haul drivers. They would be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The rest areas will also include space for gardai and the RSA to conduct checks on vehicles.
Yesterday, a public hearing into proposals for two areas was opened. It is proposed to build the M1 North at Whiterath, south of Blackrock in Co Louth and between Dublin and Balbriggan, and the M1 South, which is east of Lusk in north Dublin and between Castlebellingham and Dundalk.
The NRA's head of corporate affairs, Michael Egan, told An Bord Pleanala Inspector Brendan Devlin that up to 20pc of all traffic accidents were as a direct result of driver fatigue, and that the rest areas would offer drivers an opportunity to rest before continuing their journeys.
Although it was expected that the private sector would bring forward proposals to build the rest areas, interest shown was "tentative and sporadic".
The poor progress led the NRA to identify 12 possible areas and the authority began acquiring sites.
There were over 80 submissions from the public on the plans, with some objections relating to work being carried out on the 'Red Bog' near Dromiskin. Objectors will give evidence today.