A57 (Northern Ireland)
|Via:||Belfast International Airport|
|Length:||16.1 miles (25.9 km)|
|Meets:||A6, A26, A6, M2, A8|
|Former Number(s):||B57, C24|
|Belfast International Airport|
|Route outline (key)|
Antrim - Airport
This is the newest section of the A57, created around 2013 from the C24 (originally A26). It was always signed at its Antrim end as a primary route to the airport, meaning that southbound the road isn't well signed as the A57, because the old signs were retained.
Beginning at a TOTSO for the A6, the A57 heads south from Antrim as Dublin Road. Strangely, there are pavements on both sides, despite the road being rural, as far as Oldstone Hill. Immediately after Oldstone Hill, there is a warning of sharp bends and both pavements are lost. After those bends, the C24 heads off round the west of the airport to Crumlin, and NCN94 joins Antrim Road heading south until the next turn off (Ballyamot Road). The speed limit drops from NSL to 30mph about 100 yards north of the airport. After a curve, we meet British Road and Airport Road at a mini roundabout: straight on is Car Hire and the Long Stay Car Park, right (another branch of the C24) is Cargo, but the A57 goes left, along Airport Road.
Airport - Templepatrick
Running along the airport's perimeter, after 100 yards we meet another mini roundabout, this time for the Main Car Park. About 300 yards after that there is an actual, though small, roundabout for the terminal and Short Stay Car Park. At this roundabout the eastbound A57 is strangely signed 'A26' and there's no direct access from the airport.
Since arriving at the Airport, the road has been much wider than the road heading south from Antrim, with a central hatched area that becomes a turn lane when needed. However, as it stops running alongside the airport, and the speed limit returns to NSL, we lose that hatched area, instead having slighter wider lanes. Much of the route between here and the Templepatrick Roundabout is new-build, built when the M2 opened and, as such, the route opens out and runs on a fast alignment. From the Airport to Kilhead, red hard shoulders run alongside much of the road.
At Kilhead Roundabout, the A57 meets the A26 and becomes the T20 trunk road. It takes a fast and direct route to the A6 at Kilmakee Roundabout. The A6 is dominant in the multiplex through Templepatrick to Templepatrick Roundabout.
Templepatrick - Ballynure
At Templepatrick Roundabout, the A57 leaves the A6, and shortly meets the M2 at Templepatrick Junction (junction 5). North of the A6, the A57 is an upgraded B57. There is a roundabout with the B59 (Lindseys Corner) then a right turn for the B56, before reaching the edge of Ballyclare. At Ballyclare there is some development on the A57, but a 1970s bypass (complete with red hard shoulders) keeps the road from the village. After passing under the B94, there is a right turn for a link road to it, then a bridge over Green Road. After returning to the old road (and losing the hard shoulders), the A57 continues for just over a mile to Ballynure Roundabout, where it ends on the A8.