N12 Athlone-Cavan

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


Single Carriageway : 43.6 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 N55 is one such linkage, which will create a single-carriageway road from Athlone in the centre of the island northwards to the N34 and onwards to Northern Ireland.

The current standard of the route is poor. Although many parts are very straight and are fit for the low levels of traffic experienced, offline replacements will be necessary to bring the route up to international norms.

The southern half of the proposed route originates at junction 8 of the M6 - moved from the inappropriate junction 10 which is by now an Athlone urban road - from where it parallels closely the existing N55 until Glasson. There are village bypasses of Tang, Ballymahon and Granard, and a large diversion to the west of Edgeworthstown which crosses the N4, due to be upgraded to dual carriageway.

The final run to Cavan, however, features many bends and must be replaced with a new route to the west, which finally joins the existing road at a roundabout one and half kilometres south of Cavan town and the proposed N34. From here, motorists can continue on the N3 to the Border and Enniskillen, or further north along a reconstructed N54 to Monaghan and the N2, listed in a separate proposal. For reasons outlined on the latter page, this N55 proposal and the proposed N54 would be renumbered N12 so they would have a consistent route number.

Note: In March 2013 this scheme was renamed. It used be called 'N55 Cavan-Granard; N55 Edgeworthstown-Athlone'.

Wikipedia pages on this route: N55, N12


Origin M6 junction 8 east of Athlone
Terminates 1.5 km south of Cavan
Places Served Athlone, Ballymahon, Longford, Granard, Cavan
Routes Spawned -
Intersects N4, M6


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

Oliver Cullen from Ireland rates this scheme 10/10 and its alignment 9/10; and reckons the standard is about right. He has the following comment to make:
"A very important route from mid Ulster to the midlands and west. Current status bad."

Anon from the UK thinks this is a fairly good idea, rating it 7/10 on both counts. They have this to say:
"I agree with this scheme. I think that alignment should follow Dundalk to Carrickmacross more closely as the current R178 is heavily used and would benefit from upgrading. A less sweeping bypass of Carrickmacross would mean that the road would take Carrick to Sherlock traffic in addition to the longer distance traffic. The rest of the route is about right."
Note that this scheme described here runs from Cavan to Athlone: Dundalk to Carrickmacross is covered in the proposed N34 route.

Lad From Cavan from Ireland rates this scheme 10/10 and its alignment 7.5/10; and reckons the standard is about right.
"There are active plans to improve N55 in Co. Cavan mainly along the existing route. Some sections are complete most recently is a section which bypasses the turnoff for the R394 to Castlepollard. CPOs have been made for some additional sections south of Ballinagh which may start this summer (2016). A proposal for a roundabout south of Ballinagh would set it up for a possible bypass which is needed. One down side is that it's being built without hard shoulder. I'm not aware of similar improvements in Longford or Westmeath."
Indeed, the R394 deviation escaped my notice - it is good news to see some movement on improving this road.

John K from Ireland rates this 9/10 but the alignment only 5. He comments:
"Re the Tang Bypass ; As a local I feel yellow route proposed makes too many houses along the line virtually unlivable in. It's already a ridiculously busy road to try and safely access. I propose a mixture of the yellow and blue line which avoids the existing road."
Tang is a village some distance north of Athlone on the existing N55. I have not seen plans for its new bypass which is what John seems to be referring to, but it sounds like he'd like it all to be built offline.

MAP OF N12 :