M6 Galway Bypass

Could open : 2024 Status : Will probably happen
M6 Motorway Logo


Redesignate Motorway : 11.8 km

A HQDC outer bypass of Galway, to complement its Inner Bypass, completed in stages in the 1990s, was intended to be completed by 2010 but environmental and community opposition has stymied its progress. Nonetheless, it is still scheduled for completion in the next decade. Since it will be to motorway standard and links with the motorway network to the east, it should be redesignated to motorway. This change would include the small 3 km section of the mainline N6 out to Athenry which is still currently not motorway either. Note that no physical changes to the motorway would be needed.

The Galway City Bypass was originally meant to run west as far as Barna, on the R336, but An Bord Pleanála (Irish Planning Board) rejected this on environmental grounds, curtailing the scheme to the N59 and knocking around 10 km off it. The whole scheme was subsequently blocked in April 2013 by a European Court of Justice ruling. In 2015, it was back in planning, and a preferred route was announced in May. This reinstated the part from the N59 to Barna. In 2018, it was confirmed that the existing end of the N6 dual carriageway at Doughiska would be freeflowed onto the bypass, which meant that the bypass would itself be motorway.

In terms of timing, it is unlikely that the Galway Bypass will be completed before the mid-2020s due to the problems it is having getting through the planning system.

Update 08/05/2017: Since a motorway order has now been issued for the Galway Bypass, it seems that it may indeed all be declared a motorway when it opens. The road is not due to start until 2021 and will open in 2024, so time will tell.

Update 27/07/2019: In November 2018 it was confirmed that the bypass would indeed be motorway. A planning decision is due in Summer 2020 so the final scheme documents will confirm or deny this.

Please give your opinion on this road proposal. Rate it out of 10, and whether you think the standard (road width) is appropriate.

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Wikipedia page on this road


Origin East of Galway city, near the airport
Terminates R336 at Barna
Places Served Galway City
Routes Spawned -
Intersects M6