M1 (Northern Ireland)

Completed in the 1960s and not changed much since, the Northern Ireland M1 is a mostly two-lane affair that stretches to nearly 40 miles - the longest stretch of road of this standard in the province. For many years it ended at Dungannon, a terminus that never quite seemed right - there's plenty more of the province west of there but the motorway gave up. In 2010 that was finally put right, when the Northern Ireland Roads Service opened another 12 miles of expressway leading onward from the end of the motorway to Ballygawley, a better terminus to serve Fermanagh and Tyrone. Despite this new road being a direct extension of the M1 it's not a motorway and is instead part of the A4.

The M1 has numerous missing junction numbers, intended for the various expansive motorway plans that the Northern Ireland Assembly had, almost none of which saw light of day once Westminster took control again. Among these are two junctions for the M11, which would have started on the M1, headed around the north of Lisburn, and then crossed it again to go south, and one for the M8, intended as a southern bypass of Belfast.

One missing junction is now missing: it's been used for a new junction that wasn't on the original plans. Number 8 was for the M11 to cross, before heading south to the Irish border. It's now been taken up with a new cheap-and-cheerful exit for the A1, with the original (free-flowing) junction half-closed and now used to access a retail park, mostly. This seems to sum up the development of Northern Ireland's motorways.

Start
Belfast
End
Dungannon
Passes
Lisburn, Craigavon, Portadown
Length
38 miles

Exit list

Junction   Eastbound               Westbound  
1 The NORTH
Docks Vehicle Ferry
Airports Airport
A12 Link (M2 Link, M3 Link)
City Centre
Falls
Royal Victoria Hospital
Europa Bus Station
Boucher Road
EAST
A12





Bus
N/A
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes SignsSigns
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
2 Outer Ring
A55
Newtownards
Balmoral
Kings Hall
A55 A55 Outer Ring
A55
Balmoral
Kings Hall
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
1 mile, 3 lanes 1 mile, 3 lanes
3 A1

A1
Finaghy
Dunmurry
Suffolk
(A1)
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
Services Lisburn
LanesLanesLanesLanes
  2 miles, 2 lanes
6 Lisburn (Cen)
Saintfield
A49
A49 A49 Lisburn (Cen)
Saintfield
A49
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes 1 mile, 2 lanes
7 (A1) Lisburn
Sprucefield
A1
LanesLanesLanesLanes
  1 mile, 2 lanes
8 The SOUTH
Dublin
Newry
A101 (A1)
A101
(A1)
The SOUTH
Dublin
Newry
A101 (A1)
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
6 miles, 2 lanes 6 miles, 2 lanes
9 Belfast Int'
l Airport
Antrim A26
Moira A3
A3

A26
A3 Belfast Int'
l Airport
Antrim A26
Moira A3
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
6 miles, 2 lanes 6 miles, 2 lanes
10 Craigavon
Lurgan
A76
B76 A76 Craigavon
Lurgan
A76
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
11 Portadown
Craigavon
M12 Link
M12 Portadown
Craigavon
M12 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
5 miles, 2 lanes 5 miles, 2 lanes
12 Craigavon
Portadown
A4
B196 A4 Craigavon
Portadown
A4
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
3 miles, 2 lanes 3 miles, 2 lanes
13 Loughgall
B131
B131 Loughgall
B131
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
2 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
14 Moy B106
Coalisland A45
Services Services


A45
B106 Moy B106
Coalisland A45
Services Services
LanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanes
4 miles, 2 lanes 4 miles, 2 lanes
15 N/A A29





A4
WEST
A29




Enniskillen
A4
Armagh
Dungannon
A29
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
Routes

Picture credits

With thanks to Wesley Johnston, Jonathan and Colin for information in this section.