A4 road (Northern Ireland)
| A3 in Portadown
M1 Junction 12 at The Birches
M1 Junction 15 nr. Dungannon
A29 at Moygashel
A5 at Ballygawley
A28 at Augher
A34 at Maguiresbridge
A32 at Enniskillen
A46 at Enniskillen
A509 at Enniskillen
B52 at Belcoo
|West end:||Outside Belcoo at border with the Republic. Becomes N16.|
The route branches off from the A3 in Portadown, and from the start of the route to its junction with the M1, and from its point of resumption to the border with the Republic of Ireland near Belcoo, it is a primary route. At present, it is mainly single carriageway, apart from a short section around Dungannon, which is dual carriageway.
The A4 begins near Portadown town centre at a junction with the A3 Northway and the B77 towards Loughgall. Continuing along Corcrain Road and Charles Street in the Portadown suburbs, it meets a roundabout with the B28 road to Moy (taking the turn-off to your right at this roundabout will bring you down the Garvaghy Road). The A4 continues as a short stretch, called the Dungannon Road, to Junction 12 of the M1.
The A4 resumes at the end of the M1. Until 1980, all traffic following the A4 had to leave the M1 at its final junction and travel through Dungannon town centre to rejoin the A4, but a by-pass opened that year continued the A4 route ahead past the final junction of the M1, including a short section of dual-carriageway which had been built at the same time as the M1. The A4 then continues, passing through the townlands of Granville, Cabragh and Ballyreaghthe villages of Augher. The road crosses the county border into County Fermanagh, and skirts past the villages of Brookeborough, Maguiresbridge, Lisbellaw and Tamlaght on its approach to Enniskillen. It is believed that these villages were by-passed in the 1960s.
In and around Enniskillen, A4 traffic multiplexes with traffic coming from the A32 route from Omagh, as well as traffic using the A46/A509/N3 corridor, as it traverses through the town and its suburbs. Past Enniskillen, the A4 passes through the villages of Letterbreen and Belcoo, where it then reaches the border with the Republic of Ireland (at a bridge over Lough MacNean into Blacklion) and continues westward toward Sligo as the N16.
In wider sections of the road, the hard shoulder has been converted for use as a "slow lane" for a short distance for westbound traffic in two places; between Dungannon and Ballygawley at the Cappagh crossroads, and between Fivemiletown and Brookeborough.
The road is generally of good quality, with a number of planned improvements including dualling of the Dungannon to Ballygawley section and a bypass of the Clogher Valley. The construction of climber lanes on the Dungannon to Ballygawley in the late 1990s reduced the number of accidents on what had been a very dangerous stretch of road.
The Department for Regional Development plans a series of future road schemes for the A4:
- The route from Dungannon to Ballygawley (approximately 12 1⁄2 miles; 20.1 km) was upgraded to a dual carriageway standard, with the new road opened in November 2010. The scheme includes a central reservation safety barrier, a hard shoulder and six grade separated junctions. The estimated cost of the scheme as reported in 2006 was £102 million.
- A section of the route between Ballygawley and Augher will be realigned. Clearance work in preparation for the realignment occurred in November and December 2007, with construction believed to commence in 2008.
- Other schemes prospectively planned include by-passes of Fivemiletown and the southern end of Enniskillen, and the installation of "2+1" route between Ballygawley and Enniskillen.
There are a number of tourist attractions on or close to the A4. These include: