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A1 - Newry Bypass Dual Carriageway (NOW OPEN)

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  • BBC NI say it opens today.




  • Yes. NI Regional Development minister Conor Murphy will open the scheme. Taoiseach Brian Cowen also attending. Link to story on BBC NI News website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-10795146
    New Newry bypass is being opened

    The new Newry bypass will be officially opened by Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy on Thursday. The A1 Beech Hill to Cloghogue dual carriageway has been completed five months ahead of schedule.

    The 12km scheme extends around the northern and western outskirts of the city of Newry. It replaces the final single carriageway section of the A1 Belfast to Dublin road with a dual carriageway.

    Ulster Unionist MLA for Newry and Armagh Danny Kennedy said the opening was a "red letter day" for the area.

    "After many years of campaigning for the development of this section of road, I am delighted to see it officially opened," he said.

    "We now have a new stretch of carriageway that will make a substantial difference to the local area."

    Piece on RTE News website. Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0729/m1.html
    Dublin to Belfast road link completed
    Thursday, 29 July 2010 08:12

    The final stretch of dual carriageway road linking Dublin to Belfast is being officially opened this morning. Northern Ireland's Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy will open the 12km Newry bypass at a ceremony, which will also be attended by Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

    The opening of this new stretch of road will shorten journey times between the two capital cities by around ten minutes to less than two hours. The new section of the A1 high-quality dual carriageway from Beech Hill North of Newry to Cloghogue on the other side of the city is opening to motorists five months ahead of schedule.

    It marks the completion of a scheme to upgrade the A1 road in Northern Ireland from Sprucefield at Lisburn to the border. It will link in with the M1 motorway from Dublin to Dundalk, which was completed a few years ago.


    Article from the Belfast Telegraph.
    Link: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/finished-the-road-thatrsquos-shrinking-ireland-14891433.html
    Finished: the road that’s shrinking Ireland

    £150m Newry bypass will revolutionise North-South driving


    By Lesley-Anne Henry
    Thursday, 29 July 2010

    Ireland is now more accessible than ever.

    A new network of motorways and dual carriageways connecting urban centres on both sides of the border has massively slashed journey times between major towns and cities, benefiting the economy and tourism industry.

    The latest development sees the opening of the final section of the multi-million pound Newry bypass today, five months ahead of schedule.

    The official unveiling of the 12.7km (7.9 miles) Beech Hill to Cloghogue dual carriageway brings to an end almost 20 years and £150m worth of work to develop a continuous motorway, or dual carriageway, between Ireland’s two largest cities.

    Now, the roundabouts outside Lisburn will present the only stop on the 104-mile journey.

    The official opening of the A1 completes the key strategic route and is expected to slash journey times for motorists by at least 10 minutes — possibly more during peak times — and means, for the first time, travelling by car could be quicker than the train.

    Roads Minister Conor Murphy said the upgrade marked the achievement of the Department’s commitment.

    “This project is the final link on the key strategic route between Belfast and Dublin on Ireland’s eastern seaboard and makes a substantial positive contribution to the social and economic well-being of our communities,” said the Minister.

    “The A1 also provides access, via Newry, to the port of Warrenpoint, one of our strategically important regional gateways and convenient road connections to the cities of Lisburn and Newry and the towns of Dromore, Banbridge, Dundalk and Drogheda.”

    The original Newry bypass opened in 1996 with four roundabouts, but was deemed inadequate within 10 years.

    In 2007, the Newry to Dundalk road opened, completing a motorway from Dublin to the border.

    Newry, however, soon became a bottleneck because the road ended at the Cloghogue roundabout.

    Preliminary site works began on the bypass in February 2007 and the first section, the flyover junction at Cloghogue, was opened in December 2009.

    Last month, both lanes in a section of the newly-completed carriageway had to be dug up after they began to subside. Work to excavate and rebuild the lanes at a section north of Sheepbridge lasted around six weeks, but did not impact on the completion date.

    A spokeswoman for the Department for Regional Development said there were no additional costs for the blunder.

    Roads enthusiast Wesley Johnston, who runs the Northern Ireland Roads website, said: “The scheme is very significant since it means that, for the first time in history, there is a continuous dual-carriageway or motorway from Belfast to Dublin. The journey could now be done in two hours or less, which is actually quicker than the train.

    “The most challenging part of this scheme was the section at Cloghogue, which involved blasting away thousands of tonnes of solid rock to create a path for the road. Newry has been such a bottleneck for years, this scheme will be welcomed very much by motorists who have been watching it develop over the past three years.”

    A spokeswoman for the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau added: “Investment in access and infrastructure is critical to the success of tourism in Belfast and Northern Ireland. The completion of the bypass will have a positive impact on business and leisure opportunities for the tourism sector.”

    Meanwhile, construction on many road across the Republic has dramatically improved travelling south of the border.

    In May, the final 41km stretch of Ireland’s longest motorway opened in Co Laois, bringing the drive from Belfast to Cork down from seven-and-a-half hours, to four. Motorists can now travel non-stop from the Dunkettle interchange on the outskirts of Cork city to the M50 circling Dublin.

    We’re going to be bypassed, but we’re not worried, say Newry traders

    It bypasses both towns, but business leaders in Newry and Dundalk have welcomed the opening of the new A1.

    Completion of the multi-million pound route brings to an end decades of congestion in their central streets and misery for motorists stuck in bottlenecks.

    Jack Murphy, chairman of Newry City Centre Management, who has run a jewellerry shop in the heart of his city for almost 40 years said: “I think it is a good thing. It’s going to take a lot of the traffic out of the centre of town.

    “A big percentage of that traffic was going through anyway, they didn’t want to be here, we were frustrating them. I know from going to towns where I used to be frustrated it is a lot easier to get parked now. When you talk to traders, their initial fears were unfounded. If we didn’t have a strong attraction, in Newry we have built up such a reputation, that I think we’ll be all right.”

    Passing trade accounts for 70% of his annual revenue, but Mr Murphy is not concerned at the possibility of having to take a temporary hit.

    Mr Murphy added: “I know there was some concern while people got used to the new exit up at Cloghogue. The signage was very poor and the layout was totally different. That has now been rectified and people are now finding their way into town.”

    Last Christmas, Paddy Malone, chairman of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, had voiced fears about the impact of the new road. By last night he had changed his mind.

    “I don’t think it is going to be the problem we thought it was going to be,” he said. “I would like to think there will be a two-way traffic flow. It’s all about perception and a number of things have changed since last Christmas; there has been a marginal decrease in VAT from 21.5% to 21%. In the UK VAT is going up from 15% to 17.5%. Many southerners believe that has already happened.

    “We had a very bad Christmas weatherwise, which meant that people didn’t travel north in the week after Christmas.

    “In Dundalk, the busiest day of the year was New Year’s Eve and that meant local people were in the shops and looking at the prices.

    “Yes, there is a small difference, but they realised that it wasn’t worth their while queuing up at the Buttercrane or Quays for two hours.

    “I believe Newry’s heyday has come and gone. I would prefer to see it on an even keel. I hope that both will complement each other.”




  • Brilliant news. I've been up and down to Belfast a lot over the last few years and with the completion of the A12 (Westlink), the removal of some of the crossover junctions on the route and now the Newry bypass the road in the North is slowly getting to the same quality as it is in the Republic.

    Are there any further improvements planned on this route? While they aren't huge bottlenecks it would be great to see the removal of the Hillsborough roundabout and improvements at the Spucefield interchange with the M1.




  • Jayuu wrote: »
    Brilliant news. I've been up and down to Belfast a lot over the last few years and with the completion of the A12 (Westlink), the removal of some of the crossover junctions on the route and now the Newry bypass the road in the North is slowly getting to the same quality as it is in the Republic.

    Are there any further improvements planned on this route? While they aren't huge bottlenecks it would be great to see the removal of the Hillsborough roundabout and improvements at the Spucefield interchange with the M1.

    Plans for this I believe. Buts it's a long time before anything will be done. 2018 maybe according to this piece on Wesley Johnstons site.

    Link: http://wesleyjohnston.com/roads/m1a1link.html




  • I knew things were cheaper over the border but didn't realise they were this cheap
    route was completed five months ahead of schedule and cost 179 euro


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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-10795146
    New bypass at Newry is opened

    _48525292_a1.jpg An aerial view of the completed Newry bypass
    The Newry bypass, a new road link between Belfast and Dublin, has been opened.
    NI Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Irish premier Brian Cowen led ministers at the ceremony at Newry, County Down.
    The A1 Beech Hill to Cloghogue dual carriageway has been completed five months ahead of schedule.
    The 12km scheme extends around the northern and western outskirts of the city of Newry.
    It replaces the final single carriageway section of the A1 Belfast to Dublin road with a dual carriageway.
    The completion of the link cuts down the travel time between the two cities.
    Mr Cowen said the the development would bring economic and social benefits.
    Mr McGuinness said it was estimated the journey between Belfast and Dublin could be cut to 90 minutes.
    Projects He praised the continued financial support of the Irish government for other road projects.
    These included improvements to the route to the port of Larne, plus a major road linking Londonderry and Dublin.
    Sinn Fein's Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy, accompanied by DUP junior minister Robin Newton, said the final 7.5-mile phase of the route was completed five months ahead of schedule and cost £150m.
    Earlier on Thursday, Ulster Unionist MLA for Newry and Armagh Danny Kennedy said the opening was a "red letter day" for the area.
    "After many years of campaigning for the development of this section of road, I am delighted to see it officially opened," he said.
    Easing traffic Cathal Austin, vice-chairman of Newry Chamber of Commerce and manager of the Quays Shopping Centre, said the opening of the bypass was good news for traders in the city.
    He said heavy vehicles could now bypass Newry, easing traffic on the roads and providing more car parking space.
    "It puts about three million people within 40 minutes drive of Newry," Mr Austin said.
    "Newry in the past has notoriously been a bottle-neck that has frustrated the life out of travellers between Belfast and Dublin and that bottle-neck is now at Sprucefield.
    "I think people will get fed up at that bottle-neck and will take the detour into Newry."
    Jack Murphy, who runs a jewellery shop in Newry, said people had been inconvenienced by the roadworks around the city for "a couple of years".
    "Now that we have the new road opened, it's going to relieve all that and people are going to be delighted to get here," he said.
    "They have talked about traffic coming here from the south. This also opens up avenues from the north to come down as well. If people get here easier, we are all happy."




  • Biffo at the ceremony despite us not contributing towards that road - can only imagine what level of minister-fest the A5/A8 plaque unveilings are going to have if they go ahead!




  • Mapped already on OSM (thanks Mackerski!)




  • nordydan wrote: »
    Mapped already on OSM (thanks Mackerski!)

    Are those OSM maps correct? How does traffic going east on the A25 Newtownhamilton Road access the southbound carriageway? There appears to be no sliproad to it. Should there be one?




  • Mayo Exile wrote: »
    Are those OSM maps correct? How does traffic going east on the A25 Newtownhamilton Road access the southbound carriageway? There appears to be no sliproad to it. Should there be one?

    Fixed now! Sliproad access to southbound carriageway visible.


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  • J11 M50 to Sprucefield Junction was about 80 mins this morning, good going!




  • Pictures guys, pictures. Please. ;)




  • Nuttzz wrote: »
    J11 M50 to Sprucefield Junction was about 80 mins this morning, good going!
    That's 1h30 to edge of Belfast to Tallaght turn off then. Or 90 mins IKEA to IKEA!




  • Folks,

    Here are some photos, taken travelling northbound last Sunday.

    1. Just after the merge of the northbound on-ramp at the Newry south exit. Lots of blasting was done in this area to make space for the northbound carriageway we're on.
    IMG_6545.JPG

    2. RCS northbound after the Newry south exit. There should really be a reminder here that these distances are in miles.
    IMG_6546.JPG

    3. Check out the view over Newry city to the Mournes from this viewpoint.
    IMG_6548.JPG

    4. Approaching the junction with the A25. This is the exit I'd use for Newry on a Sunday morning, as the Newry south one has fairly long tailbacks on the old A1 when entering the city.
    IMG_6549.JPG

    5. Signage at the exit.
    IMG_6551.JPG

    6. We're now offline from the old A1. Up until the Camlough Road exit, the existing A1 was dualed. North of here it's all new build.
    IMG_6552.JPG

    7. The countryside around here is quite rolling.
    IMG_6554.JPG

    8. Note the viaduct on this bend.
    IMG_6558.JPG

    9. Quite bendy here.
    IMG_6560.JPG

    10. Approaching Sheepbridge junction.
    IMG_6561.JPG

    11. On-slip at Sheepbridge. We're approaching the route of the old A1, north of Newry.
    IMG_6565.JPG

    12. RCS north of Sheepbridge.
    IMG_6566.JPG

    13. Newry bypass section ends shortly after this bridge. The next few km until Banbridge are a recently-completed upgrade of the low-standard road that existing previously. However, the upgrade still has at-grade crossings, the first you'll have encountered since the traffic lights at Whitehall in Dublin city.
    IMG_6568.JPG




  • dev92c wrote: »
    DISCLAIMER: the following suggestions are for when there is a united Ireland which I believe will be by 2030.

    I was driving from Dublin to Belfast the other day and was appalled at the state of the road. The A1 with its median turns, poor sight lines and many other impediments is a disgrace. But so is the Irish section. I felt that in a reunified Ireland this would need to be improved and I felt I had the solutions.

    Agree that a better road to Belfast is a necessity, but let's be realistic about the united Ireland thing. Did you follow the RIC commemoration debacle this week? We can't even share a history, let alone a country.

    Anyway. Is it really necessary to build a new motorway for the Northern Ireland part? The A1 has a broad grassy strip down the middle - about 7 metres wide. Chop that out, put in a concrete divider like on most modern Irish motorways, and you have enough room for a 4-lane motorway with a hard shoulder all the way from Newry to Lisburn without buying a square metre of land.

    The rather large amounts of money saved can then be partially spent on bridges/underpasses to grade separate the important junctions and close the rest (with accessory roads where needed).

    I'd be glad to have my figures checked, but wouldn't that be cheaper and easier? Especially with the challenges the A5 faced under NI planning law?




  • dev92c wrote: »
    I’m a republican and believe it will happen sooner rather than later what with Brexit and other issues.

    Back to the motorway, the thing about the current A1 is that there is no alternative route and the road has bad sight lines and most junctions aren’t grade separated so it couldn’t be designated as motorway. A new offline M1 would need to be built.

    Maybe you're right. But people thought NI wouldn't last five years when it was first created and now it is nearly a century old. Brexit is all the more reason for unionists to hug GB closer. This past week has shown yet again why unionists won't give their permission for NI to join Ireland - I can't blame them to be honest.

    My suggestion was to grade-separate the A1 where necessary. Sight lines can also be improved when needed, or the road can just keep its 100 km/h speed limit. Much cheaper than designing, purchasing land for, and constructing about 35 km of new motorway, no?




  • dev92c wrote: »
    There’s no alternative route so it couldn’t be designated a motorway, hence an offline build would be better.


    So build an off line single carriageway alternative route then, rather than have two dual carriageway/motorways side by side.




  • Your substantive points about roads are sensible but your username is the best I've ever read!




    Agree that a better road to Belfast is a necessity, but let's be realistic about the united Ireland thing. Did you follow the RIC commemoration debacle this week? We can't even share a history, let alone a country.

    Anyway. Is it really necessary to build a new motorway for the Northern Ireland part? The A1 has a broad grassy strip down the middle - about 7 metres wide. Chop that out, put in a concrete divider like on most modern Irish motorways, and you have enough room for a 4-lane motorway with a hard shoulder all the way from Newry to Lisburn without buying a square metre of land.

    The rather large amounts of money saved can then be partially spent on bridges/underpasses to grade separate the important junctions and close the rest (with accessory roads where needed).

    I'd be glad to have my figures checked, but wouldn't that be cheaper and easier? Especially with the challenges the A5 faced under NI planning law?




  • Wesley Johnston Page for the A1 upgrade

    Grade separation is already planned for the major junctions and they are slowly closing the direct accesses, it will be a long time, if ever before you see a full motorway Belfast to Dublin but there will be a close to equivalent quality road eventually. The 60mph sections may be re-mediated by the new GSJs (except around Banbridge which I suppose is a similar situation to Athlone on the M6)




  • Sight lines can also be improved when needed, or the road can just keep its 100 km/h speed limit.

    Most of the road has the default UK dual carriageway limit of 70mph, with the crossing-heavy sections on the Banbridge and Dromore bypasses at 60mph. There are much worse sight lines in the 70 zones than in the 60 zones.


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  • Wesley Johnston Page for the A1 upgrade

    Grade separation is already planned for the major junctions and they are slowly closing the direct accesses, it will be a long time, if ever before you see a full motorway Belfast to Dublin but there will be a close to equivalent quality road eventually. The 60mph sections may be re-mediated by the new GSJs (except around Banbridge which I suppose is a similar situation to Athlone on the M6)


    Bits around Banbridge and Dromore are 60mph sections... some of which is basically 2+2 with no hard shoulder (and one very low bridge in the driving lane) and yeah, the alignment and the curvature is probably not the best for 70mph.


    If it were up to me, I'd extend the Banbridge 60mph section south a little, this junction is just outside of the 60mph section and is terrifying.



    https://goo.gl/maps/hE57hVx3f7FXE7Vr8


    You'll notice you can't quite see the actual junction (not the house) because its around a bend and downhill.


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