A12 (Northern Ireland)

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Northern Ireland

Route of the A12 (Northern Ireland)

Two miles of dual carriageway in central Belfast somehow manage to form the most important link in Northern Ireland's road network. Belfast doesn't have much of an outer ring road and, as a result, anyone heading in to the city, out of the city, around the city or who wishes to get from any location on one side to any location on the other, will need to use the A12 Westlink.

This little bit of urban highway forms the entirety of the A12 in Northern Ireland and links the M1, M2 and M3. It is built on land reserved for a proposed inner ring motorway, but it was finally completed in the early 1980s to a much lower standard with several roundabouts and traffic signals. Its upgrade and widening, to form what is effectively an urban motorway, was finished in early 2009.

The one remaining snag is the York Street interchange at its northern end, which remains a flat signalised junction underneath the M2 and M3. Plans are afoot to improve this, and while the initial plan would have left at least one set of traffic signals on the Westlink, the Northern Ireland Roads Service is now hinting that it may have found a way to make the whole interchange free-flowing between the motorways and the A12.

When this is done, who knows: in as pioneering and optimistic a place as Northern Ireland the A12 might even turn blue and become a motorway itself. Stranger things have happened.


Start York Street (M2, M3)
Finish Broadway (M1)
Passes Belfast
Length 2 miles
Connects to M1, M2, M3

There are no photos in this section yet.

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the A12 (Northern Ireland) were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
1981 Broadway → Grosvenor Street
1983 Grosvenor Street → York Street

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Northbound               Southbound
(M2 J1A) Docks (S) Vehicle Ferry
York Street
Docks (N) Vehicle Ferry
International Airport
M2 Link
City Airport
Bangor (A2)
Lagan Bridge
M3 Link


York Street (Non-standard interchange)


N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
0.3 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 0.3 miles, 2 lanes
City Centre
(Clifton Street)
A6 Clifton Street (Diamond) A6 City Centre
(Clifton Street)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
0.5 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 0.5 miles, 2 lanes
City Centre
(Divis Street)
A501 Divis Street (Diamond) A501 City Centre
(Divis Street)
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
0.3 miles, 3 lanes Up  
City Centre
(Grosvenor Road)
B38 Grosvenor Road (Diamond) B38 More information about this junction
0.4 miles, 3 lanes Up  
Local access Mulhouse Road (Non-standard interchange)Unique Bus

More information about this junction
0.5 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 1.2 miles, 3 lanes
(M1 J1) N/A Broadway Roundabout (Roundabout Interchange)
City Centre
Europa Bus Station
Boucher Road
Royal Victoria Hospital
M1 Link
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns

With thanks to Wesley Johnston for information in this section.