The Magherafelt Bypass Opens – At Last! One of Ireland’s worst bottlenecks got some relief on Wednesday with the opening of a £35m road scheme, which will take 7,000 vehicles a day out of Magherafelt town. The road has opened weeks ahead of schedule, but 46 years after it was first proposed.
Having travelled on the new road, it is a highly impressive piece of engineering, opening up entirely new perspectives on the South Derry countryside and across towards the Antrim Hills and Slemish mountain. Passing lanes help at each of the northern and southern carriageways – although whether the four roundabouts are sustainable in the long term remains to be seen. Certainly the close proximity of the new road to the main A6 from Belfast is already causing queues at the Castledawson end of the bypass at peak times.
Reports are also emerging of an increase in congestion in Moneymore – perhaps some additional traffic management will be needed there, and soon!
The four-mile route loops round the town, carrying traffic from the west towards the main roads for Derry and Belfast.
That traffic previously had to pass through Magherafelt, often with lengthy delays.