M1 west facing sliproads, Black's Road


Construction scheme (future)
To add west facing sliproads at junction 3 of the M1 to provide full access
Total Length

Junction 3 opened with east-facing sliproads - Dec 1988

Proposal for west-facing sliproads abandoned - 1990

Re-proposed in Lisburn area plan - 1997

Proposal rejected by M1/Westlink public inquiry - March 2003

Re-proposed as standalone scheme - July 2006

Scheme given preliminary go-ahead - April 2008

Construction expected by 2018 (subject to public inquiry)


£5m estimated as of July 2006

None as yet - please contact me if you have any to contribute.
See Also

General area map

A512 Old Golf Course Road on this site

This proposal is to add west-facing sliproads at M1 junction 3 (Black's Road) so as to give better access to west Belfast and Dunmurry for vehicles travelling from the Lisburn direction, and to reduce traffic levels on the local roads that are currently having to take the traffic wishing to make this manoeuvre. The scheme has a long history going back to the 1980s (see below).

It is clear from the "road protection corridor" currently in force at Black's Road that the new sliproads may simply join Black's Road with further traffic lights, although there may be an additional bridge over the railway line to give access between the Old Golf Course Road and the new west-facing offslip. The photos below show the locations of the two proposed sliproads but an aerial shot from Google Earth gives a good overview of the site. Although the M1 runs almost north-south here we talk of east and west facing sliproads because the M1 in general runs east-west.

In the document "Investment Delivery Plan for Roads" released in April 2008, the scheme was given the go-ahead to proceed within "the next ten years". The scheme is much anticipated by the residents of south and west Belfast because currently to go to their area from anywhere west and south of Belfast it is necessary to continue to junction 2 at Stockman's Lane, do a U-turn and come back along the M1. Currently (2008) Black's Road is the point at which the rural M1 widens from two lanes each way to three lanes each way for the remaining stretch into Belfast.

Historical Background to Scheme

When the M1 here was built in 1962 there were no junctions between Lisburn (junction 6) and Stockman's Lane in Belfast (junction 2). Clearly some were planned judging by the missing junction numbers and, as Belfast grew ever southwards during the 1970s and 1980s it became increasingly apparent that a new junction was needed as thousands of people were living beside the motorway but with no access to it. In 1988, at a time when money was scarce, east-facing sliproads were added at a cost of £3.8m (in 2002 prices) providing access to and from Belfast at Black's Road near Dunmurry. The plan was to add west-facing sliproads at a later date, but this proposal was abandoned in 1990.

However, the scheme was revitalised when it was included in the draft 1997 Lisburn area plan. The purpose of the scheme was to provide an additional way to bypass Lisburn, freeing up the local roads, and to reduce the traffic levels at Stockman's Lane junction for those travelling from the west. The proposals were included in the M1/Westlink upgrade proposals which were announced around 2000. The plan included options for the sliproads to join Kingsway, to join Black's Road, and a mixture of the two. For numerous reasons, the scheme was rejected by the public inquiry of November 2002 - March 2003 and therefore not built as part of the M1/Westlink upgrade.

However, on reading the report of the public inquiry it seems that the rejection was partly down to the number of unknowns due to the lack of a definite proposed option, and so the scheme did not die and was subsequently included in the 2006 consultation document "Expanding the Strategic Road Improvement Programme". This time round, the road protection corridor in the Belfast Urban Area Plan suggests that there is a more definite proposal to join the sliproads to Black's Road. However, the scheme will still likely have to pass another public inquiry so anything could happen.


M1 junction 3 from the air. Belfast is to the top. Black's Road runs from upper left to bottom right. The large road on the left is the A512 Old Golf Course Road. The existing sliproads are evident at the top with the new ones to be built at the bottom of the picture. [Photo from Google Earth]

Looking south across Black's Road on the eastern side of the M1 in 2006. The M1 is just out of shot to the right. The area of trees ahead is where the proposed onslip will be built. [Photo by Wesley Johnston]

oking south across Black's Road on the western side of the M1 in 2006. The M1 is on the bridge. The area of trees ahead is where the proposed offslip will be built. [Photo by Wesley Johnston]