A20 (Northern Ireland)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||29.9 miles (48.1 km)|
|Meets:||A1, A24, A2, A23, A55, A22, A21, A2|
|Old route now:||A510|
|Route outline (key)|
The A20 is an A-road heading east of Belfast along the Ards Peninsula.
The road begins on the A1 Donegal Square in the centre of Belfast. Its route through the city is difficult to follow, especially as its beginning is part of a one-way system. The original route of the road was along May Street and East Bridge Street over the Albert Bridge but this is now the A510 and the A20 now seems to use Oxford Street followed by a multiplex along the A2 before going along Newtownards Road to rejoin its original route which has come in along Albertbridge Road.
Belfast stretches for some distance in this direction and the A20 does not reach open country until after it passes through Dundonald, where the road becomes dual-carriageway. The road crosses the fields on a new alignment - the original A20 ran further north through Ballybarnes. Eventually the two carriageways split for a short distance as the road descends into Newtownards. The road turns right at a roundabout to bypass the town, now S2 once more.
After several more roundabouts the road passes Ards Airport and turns right again to pass Londonderry Park and leave town. Shortly after passing the NSL signs an area of water is visible to the right - this is Strangford Lough, essentially an inlet of the sea. The road then follows the edge of the inlet for some distance. It runs almost the entire length of the Ards Peninsula and never leaves the coast behind for any great distance until it reaches the southern end. The coast now turns west whilst the road makes a beeline for Portaferry, entering town along Coach Road. A one-way system begins at a mini-roundabout. Whereas the road ahead is the A20 this only caters for traffic out of town and inbound traffic is forced left to reach the A2. The two roads meet again on The Square and on The Strand (back on the coast). Theoretically the A20 ends here but owing to the one-way system it may as well be the A2.