|Location Map ( geo)|
|Via:||Naas, Port Laoise, Nenagh|
|Distance:||186.9 km (116.1 miles)|
|Meets:||M50, M9, M8, N62, N52, N24, N20|
|Route outline (key)|
Today's N7 begins at the Red Cow Interchange (locally nicknamed the "Mad Cow" interchange) with the M50. It heads southwest down Naas Road as a high speed dual carriageway. While there are some LILO junctions and access to private businesses, all crossover junctions have been removed. The last and most notorious of these was a set of traffic lights at Newlands Cross with the R113, this bottleneck was finally replaced by a grade-separated junction on 20 November 2014.
The original start of the N7 was in Dublin, at a junction with the N4 at Rory O'More Bridge. It then ran in both directions along Victoria Quay, past Heuston Station and into Inchicore on the old road past Kilmainham Gaol.
With the opening of the Chapelizod Bypass in 1987, the first section became part of the N4, and the N7 now started at Inchicore. When the M50 opened in 1990, the opportunity was taken to relieve Inchicore of the N7, and instead tell all traffic to use the M50 and N4 instead.
The former route of the N7 can still be seen in the R839 and the R110, much of which was upgraded as part of the Naas Road dual carriageway. The bypassed sections of N7 by the M7 are now mostly the R445.
The N7 Naas Dual Carriageway was built as a D2 all purpose road in the 1960s - it was the first significant section of dual carriageway in the Republic of Ireland, and was completed (22 km from Bluebell in Dublin to Naas) in March 1968. It was a very dangerous road when it first opened as Irish drivers had no experience in using a dual carriageway - fatal accidents were very common in its early years. In the 1970s traffic lights were installed at some major junctions and around 1972 a short section from the Longmile Road junction to Newlands Cross was widened to D3AP.
In 1965, the plan was that the Naas Road between Red Cow and Kildare would be upgraded to become a junior expressway. There would have been few exits: one for the Southern Cross Route, and one at Newlands Cross. This would have been accompanied by an extension of the dual carriageway, all the way to St Stephen's Green.
The Naas bypass was, in 1983, the first motorway to open in the Republic of Ireland.
The Naas Dual Carriageway was widened from D2AP to D3HQDC in two phases in 1998 and 2006 - the latter in time for the Ryder Cup Golf tournament at the K Club golf resort. It remains an all-purpose road owing to the lack of an alternative route for non-motorway traffic.
- Road trip from Naas Rd (N7) to Terenure, Dublin, showing the approach to the M50 and continuing onto the M50(S), before the removal of traffic lights at Newlands Cross. (Video published in November 2012.)
Irish Statute Book
- Roads Act 2007 (Declaration of Motorways) Order 2008 - This instrument converts the following sections of the N7 to motorway: Castletown to Nenagh, Nenagh to Limerick
- Roads Act 2007 (Declaration of Motorways) Order 2009 - This instrument converts the following sections of the N7 to motorway: Limerick Southern Ring Road Phase 1, Proposed N7/N20 Rossbrien Interchange (part of the Limerick Southern Ring Road Phase 2 road scheme)