County hall is to hold a public meeting this Thursday to address the fears of residents of the Dublin Road and Stradbally Road in Portlaoise regarding the building of four new roundabouts in the area.
However, plans published by the council ahead of the meeting make no reference of a council plan to divert the N80 in front of five new schools between the Timahoe and Stradbally roads.
The meeting was organised on foot of fears that the proposed roundabouts, which are aimed at reducing traffic congestion at the town’s new schools, will have a negative effect on the people who live near the junctions.
The plans currently on display in County Hall reveal that a compact roundabout with raised zebra crossings is to replace the existing T-junction at both the N80 Stradbally Road/Southern Circular Route (SCR) junction and the N80 Stradbally Road/Block Road junction, while a mini roundabout with raised zebra crossings will replace the existing T-junction at both the R445 Dublin Road/Block Road and the R445 Dublin Road/Fieldbrook.
The council says the upgrades are needed as a transport assessment identified that the existing junctions would be over capacity when the schools open. Three new schools opened in September 2013 while two new parish schools are due to open in 2016, with a total capacity of 2,900 pupils.
Works will start at the two junctions on the Stradbally Road in June 2015, with the second two sites commencing 2016. Anyone objecting to the plans has until Thursday, February 5 to make their submissions. The meeting this Thursday, January 15, will take place in the Portlaoise Parish Centre from 4pm to 8pm.