More attention for road safety works

Councillors complained that not enough attention was being paid to road safety in the area, at a meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District, last week.

Councillors complained that not enough attention was being paid to road safety in the area, at a meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District, last week.

Cllr Noel Tuohy had asked the council to place a luminous bollard or markings at the traffic island near Ballard Lodge on the Borris Road, at last week’s meeting.

In a written reply to the meeting, the council said that a series of road safety audits are undertaken as part of the Boris Road Scheme - before during and after construction.

PJ Dempsey, a senior engineer with the Roads Dept said the visibility of this traffic island was reviewed under the September 2014 Stage 3 Road Safety Audit

“This audit recommended that “Kept Left” bollards be provided on both sides of the pedestrian refuge island.”

Mr Dempsey said the council intended to comply with this recommendation without delay.

“Not enough attention is being paid to this,” Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said, “this review was done in September and nothing has been done yet.

“Bollards are not being maintained in the winter fog this is going to be extremely dangerous.”

Cllr Tuohy said he was particularly aware of this traffic island as he travelled the road on a regular basis.

“This one is particularly dangerous and it needs to be addressed,” he said.

The upgrading of the Borris Road has been a long saga over the last few years, since the opening of the two secondary schools in 2011.

Roadworks to improve the sub-standard road were a major headache for local residents.

In 2012, there was long traffic delays when the council began work on the road from The Grange roundabout to the Borris Road, weeks after the seconadary schools returned from their summer break.

The council claimed they could not have started the work earlier as they had to prioritise other road works which were weather dependant, and needed to be carried out during the summer months.

At the Council’s final meeting last May, councillors were told that the last leg of the Borris Road realignment was due to be finished in June.