B3 (Northern Ireland)
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Via:||Bleary, Gilford, Tandragee, Markethill, Keady|
|Distance:||45.5 miles (73.2 km)|
|Meets:||A26, A50, A51, B10, A1, A25, A27, B2, B131, B114, A28, B78, B31, A29, B32, R214|
|Former Number(s):||A1, B33|
|Old route now:||A50, A51|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3 is a T-shaped road in south Northern Ireland.
The road starts at a roundabout on the A26 on the southern edge of Lurgan and heads south along a straight road, soon reaching open country. It goes through a couple of villages before reaching the A50 to the north of Gilford. That road TOTSOs at the junction (the road layout shows the original priorities as the A50 and nearby A51 did not exist until the mid-1920s) and then there is a multiplex into the centre of town.
At a mini-roundabout the A50 goes left and the A51 right; this now takes on the multiplex. That road crosses the River Bann and TOTSOs left, after which the B3 regains its number by turning left. It heads south along Scarva Road, eventually reaching Scarva, with the last mile or so running adjacent to the Newry Canal. The road then bears left and heads east along a winding road into Loughbrickland. After passing the church a T-junction is reached and the B3 TOTSOs right onto the original line of the A1.
The current line of the A1 is met a short distance further. The B3 TOTSOs left, with the road ahead becoming the sliproads to/from the northbound A1. After going under the bypass there is another T-junction; to the right are the slip roads to/from the southbound A1 and the B3 TOTSOs left.
Our road continues southeastwards, passing Loughbrickland Lake before continuing into the hills. Presently the road reaches Rathfriland. The road bends sharply left on the western edge of town before ending on the A25, where that road has to TOTSO.
The last three paragraphs, however, actually describe a spur of the B3 which was not part of its original 1923 route. The mainline actually multiplexes further along the A51 as far as Tandragee, before the multiplex follows the A27 south to a mini-roundabout. Here the B3 regains its number by turning right.
The road heads southwest across the fields, losing the complicated B2 early on, and eventually reaching the A28 at Markethill. The junction is staggered here and after short multiplex north before the B3 runs west through the centre of town on the pre bypass route of the A28 via two roundabouts. It then continues to wind across the fields to the west to Keady. There is a multiplex south along the A29 through the village centre; that road has to TOTSO at the far end.
Just over a mile further on the B32 is met and the B3 has to TOTSO right. There then follows a very winding section of road to Derrynoose. A short distance further on an unmarked left turn is the original B3, which ran to Derrynoose Road and thence to the border, where it turned into the L15. The B3 now continues ahead along what was the B33 to end at the border to the east of Castleshane. The road ahead is the R214.