R178 road

Regional road

Regional roads are also used in some parts of Ontario. See County Road for more information.

A regional road (Bóthar Réigiúnach) in Ireland is a class of road not forming a major route (such as a national primary route or national secondary road), but nevertheless forming a link in the national route network. Regional roads are numbered with three digit route numbers, prefixed by "R" (e.g. R105).


Regional roads were formerly known as "Link roads" and under the pre-1980s route numbering system had the prefix "L" (with "Trunk" roads having the prefix "T"). In 1975 the "T/L" numbering system began to be phased out in favour of the current M/N/R route numbering arrangement (under the Local Government (Roads and Motorways) Act 1974). Regional roads were fully introduced into Irish law under the Roads Act 1993, having been present on road signs on a non-statutory basis for some years previously, and their routes were legislated under a Statutory Instrument (`SI') in 1994. However in some places very old signposts with the now obsolete numbering systems are still to be seen.

The latest SI declaring the state's regional roads was published in 2006: the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2006.


Unlike national roads, regional roads are looked after by local county/city councils rather than the National Roads Authority. Until the late 1990s, such roads were frequently very poor, although increased road maintenance funding to local councils has resulted in more frequent resurfacing of regional roads, as well as relaying and realignment on some routes.

Regional roads are subject to a lower speed restriction of 80 km/h (imperial equivalent 50 mph), rather than the 100 km/h (imperial equivalent 62 mph) for national roads. Prior to 20 January 2005, the limits were identical at 60 mph. Regional routes however, pass through towns, villages and built up areas frequently, so even lower local speed restrictions are often in place.

As of 2008, directional signposting on some regional roads in Ireland remains poor, with even modern signage usually relying on fingerpost signposts located directly at junctions however there are various signage tenders at the moment that are being processed that will address the regional roadways with the greatest signage deficit first and gradually work upwards until all regional roadways where deemed appropriate have been retrofitted with adequate signage.

Route descriptions

As of 2007, routes of all regional roads in Ireland are defined by Statutory Instrument No. 188 of 2006, Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2006; which specifies townlands, villages, towns, other settlements through which the route passes, as well as road names applied to route sections where applicable. The direction of any given route (i.e. which end is the start and which is the termination) is determined by the route description in the SI, thus any route can be listed in the form "Start, Intermediate Destinations, Final Destination" as below:

Dublin, North Leinster, Cavan & Monaghan

The Northwest

The West

The Midlands

The Midwest

The Southwest

The South

The Southeast

High capacity regional roads

There are some higher capacity (i.e. not just standard two lane) sections of regional road, most notably the R113 (Belgard Road) and R445 (Old Naas Road) and R132 Swords Inner By-pass which have sections of dual carriageway. In some cases, important high capacity urban routes are built/designated as regional roads, such as the mostly dual carriageway R710 Waterford Outer Ring Road, or the R774 Greystones to the N11 link, which is dual carriageway for its full length. In many other cases, upgraded regional roads (for example, wide two lane) were previously part of a national primary road, prior to the construction of a motorway or other bypass. In most cases, when a national primary road is changed by the creation of a bypass (motorway or other), the road previously forming part of the route is reclassified to being a regional road (rather than just a local road).

Urban Regional Roads

By-Passed National Routes

Since the enactment of the Roads Act 1993, motorways now form part of national primary roads. As a result when a new motorway, or other by-pass is built, the former N-road is downgraded to a regional road. The following are the downgraded N-roads:

See also


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