The B196 is a loop to the north of the M1 to serve the southern shore of Lough Neagh. The road was originally unclassified but gained its number in the late 1920s.
The road starts at a TOTSO on the B34 immediately south of M1J14 and heads east along Tamnamore Road; this was the A4 until the motorway was built. We run parallel to the motorway, separated from it by houses and light industry. We soon cross the River Blackwater at a narrow bridge controlled by traffic lights. On the far side of the river we reach a triangle of roads, all of which seem to be numbered B196. The B131 turns off in the right-hand corner, remaining on the old A4, whilst the B196 leaves in the left-hand corner, its original western end.
We head north and go over the M1 immediately before bearing right to avoid returning to the Blackwater. The river's course is rather winding so we have to continually move over to the east. It's not long before we reach the village of Maghery. By the church we bear round sharply to the right, running round three sides of a statue commemorating fishermen on Lough Neagh; at this point a road bears off left to the country park on the banks of the lough.
We head southeast out of town and pass the tall, thin church at Milltown before a glimpse of Lough Neagh can be seen to the left. We TOTSO right shortly afterwards and continue south across the fields. After a few bends the road reaches The Birches. The now-unclassified former A4 comes in from the right, marking the original end of our road, but we now continue ahead for another couple of hundred yards to the roundabout at M1J12. The A4 reappears as the road on the far side of the roundabout.