Roundabout problems in Portlaoise

One roundabout is in the wrong position, but another one was badly needed in Portlaoise, according to Cllr Alan Hand.

One roundabout is in the wrong position, but another one was badly needed in Portlaoise, according to Cllr Alan Hand.

“I’m not an engineer, but the roundabout is aligned incorrectly,” said Cllr Alan Hand, referring to the Mountrath Road/Portlaoise College junction.

Residents of nearby Rock View have concerns about safety, particularly during school collections from the gaelscoil and Portlaoise College, he said at last Wednesday’s area meeting.

“It is a fried egg roundabout, I’d like to see this being upgraded some time in the future,” he said.

Senior executive engineer Tom O’Carroll agreed there were problems, but relayed the message from the roads section that no money was available at the moment, though the council intends to address the safety concerns this year.

“I agree fully with you that it is not the correct size, it needs a bigger junction,” he said.

According to Cllr Willie Aird, Bord Pleanala were responsible for the inadequate roundabout.

“The council had the junction as a condition of planning. The developer of Maryborough estate pleaded to An Bord Pleanala, and they in their wisdom decided to take it out,” he recalled.

Meanwhile at Fielbrook, residents are left waiting to exit on to the busy Dublin Road, while a roundabout that has planning can’t be installed because there is no money for it.

“There could be 500 people in that estate. They can’t get out of there in the morning or evening. I see they have put cycle lanes on the Dublin Road now. If they were serious about a roundabout they wouldn’t have put them in,” Cllr Hand said.

Cllr Willie Aird suggested paying a visit to the area as part of their summer walkabout.

“We can look at the two derelict houses across the road. There was a road to come across from the Stradbally Road, to link in, and create a roundabout in that field. I think it is doable,” he said.