Handrail a must to prevent accidents at Ridge Road

It’s a miracle a child hasn’t been knocked down on Portlaoise’s Ridge Road, where the footpath is just a metre wide and there’s no handrail to protect pedestrians.

It’s a miracle a child hasn’t been knocked down on Portlaoise’s Ridge Road, where the footpath is just a metre wide and there’s no handrail to protect pedestrians.

So said Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley at the last meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District, where she called on Laois County Council to install a safety handrail along the edge of the footpath under the railway bridge on the Ridge Road.

“There’s a big housing estate there, Esker Hills, and there are many children walking to school. The footpath is just over 1m wide and there’s no footpath on the right-hand side,” she said.

“One lady was walking with a pushchair and a child she was bringing to school, the footpath can’t fit three so she had to let the child go first and a car very nearly clipped the child at the edge of the footpath. It’s a miracle there hasn’t been an accident,” she declared.

Cllr Noel Tuohy said there was a particularly dangerous roundabout nearby and reminded the meeting that a fatality had occurred there a few years back.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald agreed that the footpath was so narrow as to be very dangerous, and pointed out that the barrier in place on the Mountmellick Road had proved very effective.

The councillors were informed in a written reply from Farhan Nasiem, acting senior executive engineer with roads, that the council may need to consult with Iarnrod Eireann.