Newry Southern Relief Road - overview

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Southern Division are 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.


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 latest community consultation process which was held between 25 June and 23 August 2019 will help finalise 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.

Newry Southern Relief Road
Proposed Newry Southern Relief Road: View at Ellisholding Junction
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) and the implications of proposals for Narrow Water Bridge is required.  The Minister has stated that she is keen to understand the costs and benefits to the local area of an opening structure and she is currently considering potential options.  The Minister has also indicated that, before making a decision, she wants to listen to the views of the local community and is currently engaging with local groups and the Council on this issue.

The timing of the publication of EIA Report and draft orders will depend on the outcome of the Minister’s considerations.  There will be further opportunities to comment on the proposed scheme following publication of these documents.

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

As part of the Assessment Process, DfI undertook consultations to inform the local community of the emerging proposals for Newry Southern Relief Road (NSRR) and sought comments to help inform design development.

    Stage 3 - Community Consultation (June to August 2019)

    A Community Consultation was held on 26 and 27 June 2019 from 10.00 am to 9.00 pm at:

    • Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry, 1A Bank Parade, BT35 6HP.

    There was also unstaffed exhibition displays located at the following venues between 17 June to 23 August 2019:

    • Sean Hollywood Arts Centre
    • Newry City Library, 79 Hill Street, BT34 1 DG
    • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Offices, Monaghan Row, BT35 8DJ
    • Warrenpoint Town Hall, Church Street, BT34 3HN

    The exhibitions were available to facilitate viewing during the normal opening hours of each venue.  Further information is available via the link below.

    Previous Community Consultations


    Last updated June 2021

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