A pedestrian crossing in Portlaoise town estimated by Laois County Council at around €30,000 would cost just €9,000 in Kildare.
So said Mayor of Portlaoise, Cllr Willie Aird at last week’s meeting of Portlaoise Town Council in County Hall.
Cllr Aird had put forward a motion for the town council to call on Laois County Council to give an update on the proposed pedestrian crossing at Grattan Street.
He was informed in a written reply from Mr PJ Dempsey of the roads department, read out to the meeting by town clerk Ms Pamela Tynan, that there is a part VIII plan in place for improvement works including cycle lanes and a pedestrian crossing at Grattan Street.
However, at this time there is no available funding for the work so it is not possible to provide a projected date for the installation of the crossing.
The councillors heard from Laois County Council engineer, Mr Tom O’Carroll, that the cost of the works would be between €25,000 and €30,000.
“What’s the difference between Laois County Council and Kildare County Council?” asked Cllr Aird. “I read in the paper about one in Kildare that cost €9,000. I feel I’m being fobbed off with this big figure, we’re talking about markings on the ground. The good will is not there to put a crossing in, I don’t know why.
“It’s totally unfair to people walking up the road, I’ve seen people running across it,” he continued. “This is going on nine years, for some reason Laois County Council won’t provide it.”
Cllr Aird went on to say that he had seen someone running across the road with young children and the council must make the area safe.
“Go back and look at the books,” he said to Mr O’Carroll. “I think you have money there.”
“It’s very difficult to cross,” said Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald.
“Why can’t we get the Kildare contractor to do it?” suggested Cllr Kathleen O’Brien.