||Could open : 2030||Status : Likely|
The short M2 opened as the N2 in May 2006. The northern segment was reclassified motorway in 2009, but the bottom few kilometres had to be excluded from this due to the lack of an alternative route across the M50 - the original N2 had been severed right at the junction. Upgrades to existing roads would be all that is needed to correct the severance issue. Additionally, the junction 1A at Newtown would need to be completed and reconfigured.
The southbound onramp was made into an industrial access route in February 2007. This should be moved to a new roundabout on the North Road (old N2). The 90-degree bend offramp at Johnstown to the south (just north of the M50) should be closed and removed. The bend is far too tight and it makes the junction asymmetric.
The road leading from Kilshane Cross north of junction 1A east to the R122 needs to become part of the alternative access route, so it needs a bit of widening to make it worthy of the function.
Somewhat thorny is the issue of pedestrian access through the M50/N2 junction. The junction was fully grade-separated in 2010, which actually made it even harder to redesignate the N2 as the M2. It isn't clear how this could be resolved without creating a fully segregated route through the junction just for pedestrians and bicycles.
But what would be the point of all this, just to fill in a tiny gap in the motorway network? None really, for a long time. When the area is eventually urbanised in the coming decades, it will be prudent to preserve the route to as high a standard as possible. Given all this, however, a timescale earlier than 2030 is hard to imagine.
|Origin||M50, junction 5|