If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a lengthy tailback outside of Enniskillen, it may have crossed your mind that the town really needs a bypass.
It’s true: Enniskillen is a busy town, one that attracts locals from across the county and tourists and shoppers from further afield. Sometimes, that means there can be quite a bit of traffic clogging up the roads.
Well, good news, for anyone who wants to get to the other side of town without spending ages lifting their foot on and off the brake: Enniskillen is getting its long-awaited bypass.
The bypass has been the subject of discussion for quite some time, and now after a decades-long wait, plans suggest the project could be completed by 2024.
Here’s everything we know so far…
Given the go-ahead in May 2021 and known officially as the A4 Southern Bypass, the project is estimated to cost £25 million to £30 million. It will offer a new transport link on the southern side of the town, connecting the A4 Dublin Road and A4 Sligo Road.
The proposed bypass will comprise a 2.1km single carriageway, complete with overtaking lanes at both ends of the road. It will include two roundabouts on the Dublin Road and Derrylin Road, as well as the construction of two roundabouts, also on the Dublin Road and Derrylin Road.
The bypass won’t only benefit drivers. There are provisions for cyclists and pedestrians too, with a 3.5m-wide cycleway and footpath covering the entire length of the bypass, and a Puffin Crossing situated on the Derrylin Road.
Diggers moved in at the start of 2022 to begin the work, however, the political situation at Stormont may stall further funding. Construction is expected to pick back up in March 2023, however, this is not yet confirmed.
Interested to know what the A4 Southern Bypass might look like? A video of the project produced by the Department for Infrastructure offers a realistic depiction of the completed bypass.
The Enniskillen Bypass: What will it mean for the town?
The new bypass will bring with it a whole host of benefits, chief among them the easing of congestion.
At peak hours the roads in and out of Enniskillen experience high levels of traffic, but the new bypass will reroute much of this out of the town, making it easier for town centre workers and shoppers to get where they need to go.
Speaking in January 2022, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon suggested that it could improve average journey times by approximately 50%. No more waiting in long tailbacks just to get to the office or the shops!
The A4 Southern Bypass will also increase road safety on the A4 Dublin Road and the A509 Derrylin Road in particular.
Add to that, it’ll enhance the town centre, increasing traffic flow and improving the walking and cycling infrastructure in the town.
In addition, the easing of traffic will reduce noise and air pollution in Enniskillen, creating a much more pleasant environment for locals and tourists alike.
It’s not just those visiting Enniskillen who’ll reap the rewards either. As well as making it easier to get around town, the bypass will reduce travel times to counties Sligo and Leitrim.
While it’s true that the opening of Enniskillen’s bypass is still a long way off, it’s fair to say that it feels closer now than it ever has done, and the days of bottleneck traffic in the town centre could soon be a thing of the past.
For more details on Enniskillen’s new A4 Southern Bypass, keep up to date with Enniskillen.com.