Major Roads of Northern Ireland

By Ian James Parsley

I am amazed at the amount of complaining on your major roads site! You lot over in Great Britain should try Northern Ireland.

Firstly, we have C-roads, even in such a small area!

Secondly, we have a motorway with a roundabout in the middle of it and a stretch of single carriageway (the short M12 from Seagoe to Craigavon-Portadown).

Thirdly, the A2 in the main road from Belfast to Bangor AND from Belfast to Carrickfergus! It completes a ring around Northern Ireland apart from the section from Londonderry via Omagh to the border at Aughnacloy, which is named the A5. The confusion is furthered by the fact it is the A5 that links to the M2 in the Republic. The extension of the M1 in this area also means we have two A4s, one primary (Dungannon-Enniskillen-the border at Pettigo) and one secondary (The Birches-Portadown at M1/J12, which actually takes in the infamous Garvaghy Road).

Fourthly, and best of all, we have two M2s!! The M2 initially was supposed to link Belfast to Coleraine. The first bit as far as Antrim Town was completed, as was the Ballymena bypass. But in 1972 the NI Government was suspended and the Northern Ireland Office cancelled the project, but still failed to rename the Ballymena bypass. You can still see where all the exits ready for the continuation from Ballymena (S) were. But now the trunk road from Ballymena to Antrim has been dualled (A26), so there is no point in completing the M2 link. The chaos is furthered by an extension towards Londonderry of the M2 which is bizarrely named the M22 (even though it's a direct extension). This is due to be extended further.

All this quite aside from the fact there is no obvious ``cone system'' in operation here. And never mind the A8(M), which could just as easily be the M8!

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