Ballymena South West Distributor Road


Construction scheme (proposed)
To construct a distributor road round the south-west side of Ballymena
Total Length
4.5 km / 2.8 miles

First proposed - 1966

Included in Sub Regional Transportation Plan - 2007

No plans to construct - as of 2011

Unknown - likely to be developer funded
None as yet - please contact me if you have any to contribute.
See Also

General area map - Google Maps

Sub-Regional Transportation Plan Ballymena - DRD

Ballymena has a legacy of half-completed road schemes due to the fact that in the 1960s it was – along with Antrim – designated an area for major growth. Typical of the period, the proposals included an ambitious number of road schemes to serve the new urban area. Because population growth was not as great as anticipated, neither Ballymena nor Antrim grew as much as expected, so many of these plans remained unfinished.

The Ballymena South West Distributor is one such plan. Intended to circumvent the western side of the town it was to distribute traffic from the Belfast direction into the suburbs without having to clog up the town centre. Only the first part of the road - Ballee Road West - was ever built, while the remainder exists only as a road protection corridor made apparent by curious gaps in housing developments. The invervening 40 years has seen both the town and traffic grow to the point that the road is once again on the cards. The map below shows its most recent incarnation, as shown in the 2007 Sub-Regional Transporation Plan. It runs round the south and west of the town before turning sharply east and terminating to the north of the town centre.

Map showing the approximate route of the road, as outlined in the 2007 Sub-Regional Transportation Plan. Note that this route may have changed since then (see update below for 22 June).

If it does go ahead, the scheme is likely to be developer funded (ie provision of bits of it would be a condition of planning permission) and would almost certainly be built to two-lane single-carriageway standard with cycle lanes. Roads Service do not currently (as of 2011) have any plans to build the road themselves, but they are producing a design for the road so that any developers who show an interest in the surrounding land can take it into account.


22 June 2011: In a Written Answer back in late January, the Minister confirmed that work on the design of this scheme is nearly complete. He said "Following enquiries from a number of developers, my Department’s Road Service undertook to carry out a scheme appraisal, to determine the most favourable alignment for the proposed road. This Assessment is ongoing and, at present, the land required for the scheme has been identified for the majority of the route." He then went on to confirm that the road would only be provided by private developers: "Whilst a Ballymena South West Distributor Road would undoubtedly provide benefits, by serving as a local distributor and link road between the five arterial routes into Ballymena, funding is currently not available for the completion this scheme. However, s ome sections of the route may be constructed earlier by prospective developers wishing to open up access to development land."