In 2009, the traffic count for the area north of the Turnapin (M1/M50) interchange was nearly 110,000 vehicles per day. In 2010, as part of the M50 rebuild, this section was widened to 8 lanes - so the section was at capacity on the day it opened. The count for the area north of the Airport interchange was 80,000. In April 2011 this section was 6-laned so it, too, was saturated on the day it opened. All this assumes the following capacities: 4 lanes, 55,000 vpd; 6 lanes, 82,500 vpd; 8 lanes, 110,000 vpd.
Since traffic counts at the Balbriggan South interchange were nearly 55,000, and this is capacity for a 4-laned motorway, it seems that widening to a minimum of 6 lanes will need to take place along the whole M1 as far as this point. The section Airport to Drynam interchange (east of Swords) or Lissenhall (north of Swords) could have auxiliary lanes added to increase width to 8 lanes.
Beyond here, counts are low, as the Dunleer figures below show, and are not expected in anything but the long term to outgrow a 4-lane configuration.