A8(M) (Northern Ireland)

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Route of the A8(M) (Northern Ireland)

Surely the most lowly of all Northern Ireland's collection of diminutive motorways is the poor little A8(M) — and that's saying something. When the M2 was started it headed this way, but a very last-minute decision was taken to re-route the M2 via Antrim. This bit was already built and was left as a tail-end of motorway even though none of the roads concerned had been opened.

The A8(M) isn't unusual in connecting to no other motorways — roads on the mainland like the M2, A3(M) and various parts of the A1(M) don't connect to another road with motorway restrictions. It is, however, unique in having no other junctions in between.

It has arguably the most pointless imposition of motorway restrictions of any road in the UK, because it connects nothing but all-purpose roads and is only a mile long anyway. All the more reason to celebrate something so odd and wilfully arbitrary — three cheers for the A8(M)!


Start Newtownabbey (M2)
Finish Newtownabbey (A8)
Passes None
Length 1 miles
Connects to M2


Views of the A8(M) (Northern Ireland) from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.


The M2 end of the A8(M), with the short motorway stretching away from us up the hill. Both carriageways are the same width but, for some unknown reason, the northbound one is marked with three lanes while the southbound side only has two. To the right, there's a Northern Ireland specialty: a flashing "no entry" sign.
Photo by Wesley Johnston


From the top of that hill (okay, from a footbridge close to it), the end of the road is already approaching. And that's it for the A8(M)!
Photo by Wesley Johnston

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the A8(M) (Northern Ireland) were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
1966 Entire motorway

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Northbound               Southbound
1 Larne A8
Ballyclare B56

Corr\'s Corner (Roundabout)

N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
0.5 miles, 3 lanes Up  
More information about this junction
0.5 miles, 3 lanes Up   Down 1 mile, 2 lanes
(M2 J4) N/A M2


Sandyknowes Roundabout (Roundabout Interchange)



Glengormley A6
Belfast M2 Link
Mallusk A6
Antrim M2 Link
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSignsSigns

With thanks to Wesley Johnston for information in this section.