M5 (Northern Ireland)

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Route of the M5 (Northern Ireland)

As with just about any other Northern Ireland motorway, the M5 was destined for something bigger. It takes four of the M2's ten lanes on the way out of Belfast and then, as if it's not sure what to do without the other six, gives up a mile or so later and stops on a roundabout with the A2.

This road was meant to go all the way to Carrickfergus — but, of course, never did. When the Westminster took direct control of Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, all the plans that hadn't yet been started were instantly frozen, and have remained so ever since. This was lucky in that it slipped through the net, opening in 1980, but it's little more than a hint at what was once planned.


Start Rathcoole (A2)
Finish Whitewell (M2)
Passes None
Length 1 miles
Connects to M2


Views of the M5 (Northern Ireland) from on and off the road. If you have a photo to contribute, contact me.


Taken from Cave Hill, pretty much the whole M5 is visible here. The M2 is to the bottom right of the image; the M5 splits off it to the right and crosses towards the left on an artificial causeway.
Photo by Wesley Johnston


The M5 causeway seen from the shore at Whitehouse.
Photo by Wesley Johnston


The M5 was to have continued to Carrickfergus, but instead stops here at Hazelbank roundabout after just one mile.
Photo by Wesley Johnston

Construction Timeline

When the various parts of the M5 (Northern Ireland) were built, listed in chronological order.

Open Jct Section
1980 Entire motorway

Exit List

All the junctions and destinations along the route.

Junction   Northbound               Southbound
1 Rathcoole

Hazelbank Roundabout (Roundabout)

N/A More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns LanesLanesLanesLanesSigns
2 miles, 2 lanes Up   Down 2 miles, 2 lanes
(M2 J2) N/A M2

Greencastle Interchange (Fork)
Docks Vehicle Ferry
M2 Link
More information about this junction
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes

With thanks to Wesley Johnston for information in this section.