B2 (Northern Ireland)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Via:||Ballynahinch, Dromore, Lurgan, Tandragee|
|Distance:||59.7 miles (96.1 km)|
|Meets:||A7, A24, B7, A1, B9, A3, B76, M12, A3, A27, A50, A27, B3, B131, B114, A28|
|Route outline (key)|
The B2 is a complicated B-road in southeast Northern Ireland.
Downpatrick - Lurgan
The road starts on the A7 to the northwest of Downpatrick and heads northwestwards across the fields. It soon crosses the Annacloy River to enter Annacloy itself. A few miles further on the road reaches Ballynahinch and a T-junction on the A24. There is then a multiplex to the right into the town centre.
The A24 goes along Church Street and passes more than one church before reaching a roundabout. Here is possibly where the B2 reappears. "Possibly" as the road to the left is signposted as the B7. However, given that the road ahead is signposted as both the A24 and A49 there may be a problem with the signage. The Class II road heads west out of town to reach a fork, where the B7 bears left and what is definitely the B2 TOTSOs right.
The B2 continues west along a straight road for several miles, passing through Ballykeel about half way, before reaching Dromore and a T-junction. The main road here is the original line of the A1; when the bypass was built the B2 was extended along the whole of the pre-bypass road, so the B2 now goes in both directions (although the mainline turns left). After going through the Market Square a mini-roundabout is reached. The road to the left is the B2 spur to the southbound A1 and the mainline continues ahead. The bypass is soon reached - with the B2 going over it - after which the next road to the right form the slip roads to/from the northbound A1. Corresponding southbound slip roads do not exist, although the two spurs both end at full-access GSJs.
The road continues west along the valley of the River Lagan. After a couple of miles the river swings off to the south with the B2 continuing straight (albeit on a hillier route). After crossing the B9 the Lagan is met once more - and crossed - before the road bends sharply to the right and presently meets the A3 on the eastern edge of Lurgan. There is a multiplex to the west through the centre of town.
Lurgan - Loughgilly
The B2 reappears by turning right at traffic lights on the western side of Lurgan. It heads north and soon crosses the Belfast to Dublin railway line. The road then runs along a new alignment through an industrial estate, turning right at a roundabout, before bending sharply right and going under the M1. The next road to the right, the B76, provides access to the motorway. The B2 then heads northwest through Derrymacash and briefly skirts the southern edge of Lough Neagh. Derrytrasna is then reached.
In the centre of the village the B2 TOTSOs left and so doubles back on itself (as can be seen in the map on the right). The road now runs southeastwards back under the M1 and M12 before reaching a T-junction. The road to the left is a quick route back to the first industrial estate but the B2 TOTSOs right to meet the M12 at J2. A spur of the A3 is also met here. The B2 then crosses over the A3 to enter Seagoe. After going under a pedestrian footbridge it turns left at a mini-roundabout to end at traffic lights on the A27.
The above is the original 1923 route of the B2. However, it gained a lengthy spur early on. This left the A3 in Lurgan, just to the west of the western end of the original multiplex, and headed southwest along Old Portadown Road. This section has been altered by the new town of Craigavon and (according to some maps) declassified. The next time the B2 is mentioned is when it turns off Moyraverty West Road onto Bluestone Road.
The B2 continues southwest, skirting the southern edge of Portadown, before crossing the A50 at a roundabout. In quick succession the road then crosses the River Bann, the Newry Canal, the Cusher River and the railway line before bending to the left to reach Tandragee and the A27. After a multiplex south into the centre of town the B3 turns right at a mini-roundabout; the B2 is still in hiding.
At the top of a hill the B2 regains its number by turning left at a triangular junction. It goes through Clare before reaching Loughgilly and a T-junction on the A28. The B2 decides here that enough is enough and so goes no further.