Low cost plan for Portlaoise’s unsafe ‘rocking’ railway crossing

The highlighting of a dangerous level crossing by Portlaoise Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald has led to a new plan to make it safer by Laois County Council.

The highlighting of a dangerous level crossing by Portlaoise Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald has led to a new plan to make it safer by Laois County Council.

Cllr Fitzgerald raised the problems for pedestrians and drivers at the Knockmay crossing, during the May meeting of Portlaoise municipal district,

“The rails are rocking, that’s why there is such a bounce driving across it. Anyone who doesn’t know the road absolutely bounces over it, it is dangerous for pedestrians and motorists,” she said.

The crossing is near Telfords, on a road that gets much industrial traffic. Two lorries have shed loads due to the dip. The railway is rarely used.

Engineer Tom O’Carroll said Iarnrod Eireann had initally estimated the cost of making it safe at a million euros, but after another site meeting, a cheaper upgrade is planned.

“We are considering an approach where existing gates are left in place, with two small pedestrian gates with a connecting footpath on one side, where space permits,” he said.

The works would be done and funded by the council, with approval from IE.