B18 (Northern Ireland)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||27.3 miles (43.9 km)|
|Meets:||A523, B93, B52, B183, A6, B160, B181, A29, B181, B73|
|Route outline (key)|
The B18 is a cross-country B-road in central Northern Ireland.
The road starts on the A523 (former A26) to the south of Ballymena town centre and heads west along Toome Road through the suburbs. It crosses a double roundabout before having to TOTSO right at a crossroads; the other roads here are all unclassified.
Now in open country, the road crosses the River Main and continues to the southwest. It crosses the B52 at a staggered crossroads before going through Moneyglass to reach Toome. The A6 bypass is crossed at a roundabout and the B18 continues along Roguery Road into the centre of town to reach a mini-roundabout on the original line of the A6.
Originally the B18 ended here. It was later extended west via a multiplex and, later still, extended along both directions of the pre-bypass A6 through Toome. The road to the left leads to the bypass and the mainline of the B18 turns right. It crosses the wide River Bann before the mainline of the B18 TOTSOs left as the spur continues ahead back to the A6.
The B18 runs close to the northwestern corner or Lough Neagh for a short distance before turning north again and having to TOTSO left to cross the Moyola River. Originally the B18 ran straight but its route was severed in the 1940s by the long-gone RAF Toome. To begin with the road was diverted along Airfield Road, which runs around the south, but was later given its present route to the north.
After rejoining its original route the B18 TOTSOs left again to run along the western side of Lough Neagh. This is invisible at first but road and water get closer to each other until Ballyronan is reached. Here the B18 is the dominant number in a short multiplex with the B160, ending when the B18 TOTSOs right.
The road now heads west, inland, across the fields, crossing the B181 en route. After a few miles a T-junction is reached, where all three arms are the B18. The extension from Toome dating to the early 1920s turns right and runs through Moneymore to end on the A29 in the village centre. However, the mainline of the B18 turns left instead, along a road which became part of the B18 later in the 1920s.
The road now heads southeastwards along a more-or-less straight road. Eventually the B181 (which has taken a shorter route to get here) is met again and then the B18 descends into Coagh. It ends at a mini-roundabout on the B73 on the near side of the village centre.