A1 road (Northern Ireland)

A1 road (Northern Ireland)

UK road routebox
road= A1
length-mi= 42.5
length-km= 68.4
direction= North - South
start= Belfast
destinations= Dunmurry
end= Near Meigh, south of Newry at border with Republic of Ireland. Becomes N1.
construction-date= Dualling from Sprucefield began 1971
completion-date= Dualling to border to be finished in Winter 2010
junctions= A3 in Lisburn
M1 Junction 7 at Sprucefield
A26 and A50 at Banbridge
A2, A25, A27 and A28 at Newry
euroroute= European route number small sign|1
The A1 is a major route in Northern Ireland. It runs from Belfast via Lisburn and Banbridge to the border (with the Republic of Ireland) south of Newry, from where the road continues to Dublin, becoming the N1 road and M1 motorway.

Recent developments

Several safety improvement schemes have been completed. A flyover has been constructed at the busy Rathfriland Road junction in Banbridge and an underpass at the very dangerous Hillsborough road junction in Dromore was completed in June 2005. [cite news | title=£4m underpass opens at accident blackspot | work=Belfast Telegraph | date=2005-06-18 | accessdate=2006-11-13]

The A1 is not yet fully dual carriageway and of those parts that are dual carriageway, many junctions are built to a relatively low specification as they necessitate right-turning movements across a busy central reservation. The Belfast-Dublin route is now, since 2 August 2007, motorway or high standard dual carriageway from Dublin Port to the Cloghogue roundabout, located at the southern-most point of the Newry By-pass. By the end of 2009, the remaining sections north of the border will be upgraded to dual-carriageway standard, from Newry to Loughbrickland, County Down.

Planned developments

The Roads Service of Northern Ireland has planned to provide four further grade separated junctions. These schemes are located at:

* Dromore Road, Hillsborough
* Banbridge Road, Dromore
* Dublin Road/Grovehill Road, Loughbrickland
* Dromore Road, Banbridge

Further measures envisaged to improve safety and journey times, include a central reservation safety barrier be to constructed from the A1's junction with the M1 at Sprucefield to the end of the present stretch of Dual Carriageway at Loughbrickland. This will involve the closing of many of the dual carriageway's central cross-over points.

The scheme to complete the improvements to the A1, (the dualling of the road between Beech Hill and Cloghoge) is currently going through statutory processes and construction is expected to commence in 2008. This scheme will involve the building of a largely off line new dual carriageway and includes provision for a central reservation safety barrier, hard shoulder and a number of grade separated junctions.

Developments in progress

Currently, two dualling schemes are underway on the A1:
* A 5.5 mile (9 km) stretch of largely on-line dualling was completed between Loughbrickland and Beech Hill in late 2006. [cite news | title=Roads service plan for £13m of improvements | author=Andrea Clements | work=Belfast Telegraph | date=2005-06-21 | accessdate=2006-11-13 cite news | title=Drive to make road journey from Ulster to Cork quicker | author=Ben Lowry | work=Belfast Telegraph | accessdate=2006-11-13 | date=2006-10-09]
*A 2.2 mile section of road between Sheepbridge and Newry and a 1.8 mile section between the Cloghogue roundabout and the border is now being enforced by SPECS (Speed Enforcement Camera System). This is the first SPECS installation in Northern Ireland. [cite news | title=Latest anti-speeding trap on the road | work=Belfast Telegraph | date=2006-08-07 | accessdate=2006-11-13]

Potential developments

One remaining scheme that could potentially occur on the A1 is in the vicinity of Sprucefield and Hillsborough. This would involve grade separation of the current Hillsborough roundabout and also a new high quality free flowing junction linking the A1 with the M1 at Sprucefield. Whilst these potential schemes are not currently on the agenda, they may become so in the near future if plans to redevelop the site of the former Maze Prison are implemented. [cite news | title=£45m road plan 'means Government is not fully behind Maze stadium' | author=Ben Lowry | date=2006-09-29 | accessdate=2006-11-13 | work=Belfast Telegraph]


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