A42 (Northern Ireland)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||34 miles (54.7 km)|
|Meets:||A2, M2, A43, A26, A54, A29|
|Former Number(s):||B60, B19, A6|
|Route outline (key)|
The A42 is a medium-length A-road in the north of Northern Ireland. The road was originally numbered B60 to the east of Ballymena and the B19 to the west but the road was upgraded to Class I status, becoming the A42, in the mid-1920s.
The road starts on the shoreline in Carnlough on the A2 coast road. However, the A42 immediately heads inland, climbing away from the sea to enter open country. The road continues to climb as it crosses the hills and goes round a number of tight corners. The road soon reaches the River Braid and follows it downstream, crossing it a couple of times, for example in Broughshane. Shortly afterwards we reach the M2 Ballymena bypass, crossing it at J11. The A42 is dual through the junction.
We head into town along Broughshane Road and meet the A43 at a mini-roundabout. There's a full roundabout just afterwards, where we become dual once more and skirt the northern edge of Ballymena town centre along the Parkway to reach the A26 at another roundabout. There's a multiplex to the left and the A42 regains its number by turning right at traffic lights. We pass a retail park and go under a railway bridge carrying the Derry~Londonderry Line.
We head west along Galgorm road to reach the suburb of that name and then cross the River Maine into Gracehill. There's then a brief rural section before we reach Ahoghill. We run along the main street of the town before entering open country. The road winds to the north to enter Portglenone, where we run through the market place and then cross the wide River Bann, which marks the county boundary. On the far side, still in the built-up area, we meet the A54 and multiplex with it briefly. That road turns off and we wind southwards once more into the village of Gulladuff. Here we meet the B182 at a mini-roundabout and we turn right.
We now follow a dead-straight road for a couple of miles before bearing left to reach a T-junction. Originally the A42 ended here on the old A6. However, that has now been diverted to the south and so we TOTSO right here and continue on the same alignment. The road starts to wind as it reaches Maghera. We run along Main Street and end at a signalised junction on the A29. The old A6 ahead is now unclassified and so the A42 ends here.