N12 Monaghan-Cavan

Could Open : 2040 Status : Not under consideration
N12 Road Logo


Single Carriageway : 43.8 km

As detailed in other proposals, the Border area of the Republic suffers from poor road access. Routes like the proposed N34 create movements where none is currently provided, while other upgrades consist of replacing or upgrading an existing road. The N54 is one such linkage, which will create a single-carriageway road from Cavan town to Monaghan. Traffic can then continue onwards to Armagh and eventually Belfast. The intention is to create an Athlone-Belfast route.

The current route suffers from major problems. Firstly, its standard is very poor. It has never received meaningful improvements and an entirely new offline build will be necessary to bring it up to international norms. Secondly, it crosses the border into and out of Northern Ireland several times. The route's numbering is N54, A3, N54, A3, N54. Anomalies like this have occurred because of the partition of the island at independence. Originally the N54/A3 did not cross an international border. (The roads were not numbered in that way at the time, but this is a moot point).

The final issue is the choice of numbering. There is an unnecessary change of number at the east end of the N54 to the important-sounding N12. This is presumably because it connects with the important A3 on the other side of the border which leads to Armagh. But the N.I. part of the N54 is also A3, so this indicates that the N54 should be the the N12 too, which would make the N12 run from Cavan to Monaghan to the border.

There are three ways to resolve this:

  • - Renumber the N12 the N54, which would free up the N12 for use elsewhere, for example the N34

  • - Renumber the N54 the N12, which makes the N12 into a longer, more substantial route as it should be since it is a National Primary

  • - Renumber both the N54 and the N55 as N12, which would create an N12 Athlone-Monaghan. This is attractive as it indicates that the N12 is a strategic all-island route. This frees up the N54 and N55 for use elsewhere.

Of these, the third has much going for it: the N55/N54/N12 route is consistently numbered as N12, indicating its long-distance nature, and two old numbers can be used elsewhere.

Note: In March 2013 this scheme was renamed. It used be called N54 Monaghan-Cavan.

Wikipedia pages on this route: N54, N12


Origin N3 north of Cavan
Terminates Northern Ireland border
Places Served Clones
Routes Spawned -
Intersects N2, N3


Please take a minute to answer a very short survey on your opinion of this road proposal.

Anonymous from Ireland rates this scheme 1/10 and its alignment 1/10; and reckons the standard is about right: "I would choose sing. c/way because this road is not a very busy road." [Note that I specified single carriageway anyway.] He or she has the following (rather confusing!) comments to make:
"This road is not necessary, although the N54/A3 has many bends, the road as it is is very important. It serves Clones, Monaghan, Butler's Bridge. It is important also, if this road were to be built, that high quality single carriageways be made as access routes into Clones and Monaghan. Also, an access road to Clogher market, just inside the northern side of the border, would be needed. This market can cause traffic slows on this road every saturday, because it is so popular."

Computerfan0 from the UK likes this, giving it 8 and the alignment 10. He thinks that "single carriageway w/ hard shoulders will do" :
"This will make sense beacause the N12 is too short. This will also alleviate Monaghan traffic congestion if placed correctly."

MAP OF N12 :