Following the closure in 1972 of the border crossing at Aghalane between the N3 and the A509, a new route was needed to reach the nearest crossing at Swanlinbar. It was decided that the R200 from its junction with the N3 (now Staghall Roundabout) to its junction with the R202 and the R202 from its junction with the R200 to its junction with the A32 would become the new route. Locally it was hoped that the road would be an extension of the N3 and that the new route would be upgraded to the National Standard. This was refused and the new route was given the number N87. With the restoration of the direct route in 1999, when the George Mitchell Bridge opened, the N87 remains something of an anomaly.