Newry Southern Relief Road - overview

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Southern Division is advancing the design and development of a new strategic road link to the south of Newry City, between the A1 Dublin Road dual carriageway and A2 Warrenpoint Road dual carriageway. This would provide an alternative route for strategic traffic that avoids Newry City centre.

The scheme would link to the Eastern Seaboard (A1/N1 Belfast-Dublin) Key Transport Corridor (KTC), which includes road and rail links between Larne (via the Belfast Metropolitan Area) and the border at Newry, facilitating onward travel to Dublin and improving access to other regional gateways. The scheme is part of DfI’s Strategic Road Improvement (SRI) Programme and has also been identified within the Banbridge, Newry and Mourne Area Plan 2015.

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Newry City has for many years suffered from traffic congestion, some of which has been relieved by upgrading sections of the Eastern Seaboard (A1/N1 Belfast-Dublin) KTC to a high standard dual carriageway.

Current Position

The Department announced the Preferred Route in October 2018. Subsequent feedback since that time has informed the design development of the scheme. Feedback from the summer community consultation has been considered in refining the design used for the technical Scheme Assessment Reports, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the draft Statutory Orders. There will be further opportunities to comment of the developed scheme following publication of the EIA Report and draft Statutory Orders and at any subsequent Public Local Inquiry, if required.

Proposed Newry Southern Relief Road Scheme

Illustrative Flythrough

Graphics for illustrative purposes only – scheme design under development and subject to change.

The current stage of the project involves developing the design of the road and preparing the draft Statutory Orders, along with an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR), in advance of statutory public consultation.  Before this work can be finalised, a decision on the proposed bridge over the Newry Ship Canal (fixed or lifting) is required. 

Subsequent progression of the scheme to construction remains subject to the proposal clearing the statutory procedures, having a satisfactory economic appraisal and, given other competing priorities, is dependent on funding made available in future budget settlements.

Environmental Assessment

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is continuing in tandem with the scheme development and design process. Assessments and surveys are ongoing and will continue until a final design has been confirmed subject to consultation.

This requires that surveys are updated as necessary and a review of the assessment undertaken regularly to ensure that the EIA remains valid and fit for purpose. This is in accordance with the EIA Directive, as EIAs must be based on current knowledge and established methods of assessment.

The work itself broadly entails a review of readily available baseline information, walkover surveys, quantified modelling and assessment monitoring, detailed field surveys and consultation with environmental bodies and other interested/affected stakeholders.  The ongoing assessment ensures the final design is based on the most up to date and current environmental conditions.

Scheme Documents

Guidance for Landowners

The link below provides guidance for landowners, residential property owners, agricultural property owners and business property owners who are impacted by road schemes. 

Community Consultations

The next stage would be to publish draft Statutory Orders, along with an Environmental Impact Assessment Report in advance of public consultation.  A decision on the bridge proposal on Newry Ship Canal will be required before these documents can be finalised and published.

Public consultation will likely include a formal community event as well as unmanned exhibitions.  Venues, dates and timings will be published in due course.

    Previous Community Consultations


    Last updated December 2022

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