A26 (Northern Ireland)
From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Length:||64.3 miles (103.5 km)|
|Meets:||A2, A29, A44, M2, A42, A523, A36, M22, A6, A57, A52, A30, A3, M1, A50, A1|
|Former Number(s):||A36, B101, B12, A1|
|Now part of:||A523, B12|
|Antrim • Ballymena • Coleraine • Craigavon •|
|Route outline (key)|
The A26 is a long A-road in Northern Ireland.
It originally started on the A2 in Coleraine. Some maps claim it still does whereas others have now moved it east to begin on the A29 eastern bypass. The road then heads southeast via Ballymoney to reach the northern end of the M2 Ballymena bypass. The A26, however, continues straight through town, eventually reaching the far end of the motorway. The road then becomes the final section of the bypass.
After leaving Ballymena behind the A26 heads south to Antrim, crossing the M22 en route. There is a multiplex along the A6 through town. After regaining its number the A26 heads south, passing to the east of Belfast International Airport and the town of Crumlin before meeting the A3 and M1 at a roundabout. There is then a multiplex of over five miles west to Lurgan.
After regaining its number the A26 heads south to meet the A50 to the east of Lawrencetown. The A26 is then the dominant number in a multiplex into Banbridge town centre. The A26 splits here, running in both directions to end on the A1 Banbridge bypass either side of town. The road to the south runs along Newry Street, meeting the B10 at an ancient diamond GSJ.
The original route of the A26 heading south out of Ballymena town centre is now numbered A523; the A26 has been rerouted along the original western end of the A36 to allow it to access both ends of the M2.
The long multiplex along the A3 can be explained by the fact that the A26 route between Antrim and Lurgan has been moved eastwards since its original classification. The road originally followed the direct route via Crumlin and Aghalee. With the construction of the M1 the A26 and B12 swapped routes south of Glenavy to allow easier access from the A26 to the motorway. Later on, the road, which had already been rerouted west to avoid RAF Aldergrove (now Belfast International Airport), was severed completely and a new road built to the east.