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 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. The M5 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.

Impressively, almost the whole of the M5 is built on land reclaimed from the sea, and for most of its length runs on a causeway between open water and a man-made lagoon.

Start
Rathcoole
End
Whitewell
Passes
None
Connects to
Length
1 mile

Exit list

Junction   Northbound               Southbound  
1 Rathcoole
A2
Carrickfergus
Whiteabbey
A2




A2
NORTH




A2
N/A
LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs LanesLanesLanesLanes Signs
2 miles, 2 lanes 2 miles, 2 lanes
M2 J2 N/A M2




M2
SOUTH
Belfast
Docks Vehicle Ferry
M2 Link
LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes LanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanesLanes
Routes

Picture credits

With thanks to Wesley Johnston for information on this page.