A23 Ballygowan Road gyratory at Manse Road, near Belfast


Construction scheme (completed)
To upgrade a dangerous junction on the A23 Ballygowan Road, near Belfast
Total Length

Work began late 2000

Opened March 2001

See below.
See Also

General area map - Google Maps

The A23 Ballygowan Road is an arterial road feeding into Belfast. It is not the busiest, but it is busy. One of the most dangerous features of this road was the crossroads at Manse Road / Upper Braniel Road around a mile from the Outer Ring in Belfast. This junction had all the classic dangerous features:

  • Located just round a blind corner on a busy A-road.
  • Located on a steep hill.
  • Very poor visibility from side roads due to vegetation, road curvature and buildings.
  • Both side roads approaching the junction down steep inclines.

A roundabout would have been the obvious solution, but since this was not built, we can assume that the geography of this location ruled out such a solution. Instead, a rather deviously clever one-way gyratory system was built. This involved swinging citybound traffic out round a lazy curve, and banning right-turns from the two side roads. Traffic wishing to to turn right would now have to turn left and then use one of two little link roads to complete the manoeuvre. In particular, traffic emerging from Upper Braniel Road is forced to drive up to where there is a clear line of sight round the corner before they have the opportunity to turn right. This means that no turning manoeuvre requires looking in more than one direction, which improves safety dramatically.

The map below shows how the junction looked before (left) and after (right) the upgrade. The built up area is shown in grey, the main A23 in green and the two side roads in orange. The red arrows indicate the one-way system, and the black arrows indicate left-turn-only restrictions.

And how the junction looks today:

View Larger Map