A505 Sandholes Link Road, Cookstown

 

Status
Construction scheme (future)
Where
To upgrade the Sandholes Link Road, Cookstown, to provide a better link between A505 Drum Road and the Loughry Roundabout on the A29
Total Length
0.6 km / 0.4 miles
Dates

2010 - Proposed during planning for A29 Cookstown Bypass

10 June 2010 - Preferred route announced

Likely to be constructed at the same time as A29 Cookstown Bypass, which is planned to commence after 2015 (as of Jan 2011)

Cost
£3.3m as of June 2010
Photos
See below
See Also

General area map - Google Maps

A29 Cookstown Bypass - on this site

Official web site on A29 Cookstown Bypass - Roads Service

In June 2010 the preferred route was announced for the proposed A29 Cookstown Bypass. The bypass will run to the east of the town connecting the Loughry Roundabout (on the A29 Dungannon Road at the south of the town) to the Moneymore Road to the north. The problem with this is that the A505 Drum Road (which goes west towards Omagh) will continue to join the main street in Cookstown since it's on the 'wrong' side of the town than the Bypass. Motorists coming from the west on the A505 and wishing to continue north towards Moneymore would likely continue to use the main street.

This proposal would upgrade the local road network to make it much easier to access the proposed Cookstown Bypass from the A505 and encourage as much through traffic as possible to divert onto it. The plan, as shown on the map below, would upgrade a local industrial/residential road - the Sandholes Link Road - and provide roundabouts at either end. The upgraded road would have one lane in each direction with right-turn pockets for every side road. This would encourage vehicles to transfer across to the Bypass rather than continuing to the main street.

A29 and A505 Cookstown Map

A more detailed map of the proposed upgrade to Sandholes Link is included in this Roads Service PDF file, released in June 2010. Essentially the road subsumes the northern half of the existing Sandholes Link. However, it then veers off the route of that road and subsumes a 200-metre minor road to complete the link to the main Sandholes Road.

It is possible that the A505 number will be reassigned to the upgraded Sandholes Link Road, as I have indicated on the map, but this is conjecture on my part as Roads Service have not said anything on this matter. Such a redesignation would, however, make sense if the purpose is to encourage drivers to take this route to the Bypass. I am nevertheless taking a slight gamble in referring to this as the "A505" Sandholes Link Road!

It is not known when this road will be constructed (if it is approved), but it is likely that it would be provided at the same time as construction on the main A29 Cookstown Bypass. At the time of writing (July 2010) the cost of the scheme is given as £3.3m, making it a sizeable project in its own right.

Photos

These are all links to Google Streetview:

This is the view east on A505 Drum Road, with the existing Sandholes Link visible on the right. This will be the site of the northern roundabout.

This is looking south along the existing Sandholes Link.

The existing Sandholes Link has numerous curves that reduce sightlines.

This is looking south along the route of the upgraded road, to smooth out the bend ahead.
This short local road will become part of the upgraded road.

This is where the southern roundabout will be sited.