‘Strangest’ Portlaoise roundabout

The design of a new roundabout under construction in Portlaoise have been criticised by a local parent for having the “strangest ever” curving path, and being too narrow for traffic.

The design of a new roundabout under construction in Portlaoise have been criticised by a local parent for having the “strangest ever” curving path, and being too narrow for traffic.

The mother of a Gaelscoil pupil has called “hilarious” the new curves added to the footpath on the Stradbally road, while raising concern that taking away the second traffic lane from the school side will lead to traffic backlogs come September.

“Portlaoise is already known as the town of roundabouts, but this is absolutely hilarious. I’m not a planner but I could think of a better solution, planners are gone mad,” she said.

The roundabout at the junction to the South Circular Route, and another at the Block road junction, are being built to accommodate traffic to five schools on the SCR, with over 2,000 children taught there after the new parish junior and senior schools open in 2016.

Their design was defended by Laois County Council ‘s Director of Services Kieran Kehoe.

“The roundabouts are designed in accordance with modern design standards.Laois County Council went through considerable public consultation on the process and all submissions received were in favour of the roundabouts as presented,” he said.

The two roundabouts are on schedule to be largely completed by August 28, with traffic diversions to be lifted by then.

The curved path and narrow traffic lanes are understood to ensure drivers slow down. Each leg of the roundabouts will have zebra crossings to allo w children walk and cycle to school safely.

“The contract is currently on programme. I believe that there is minimal disruption to traffic based upon the timing, size and scale of the works being carried out,” Mr Kehoe said.