The news that Laois County Council are having trouble installing traffic lights at the Block Road/Stradbally Road junction has been welcomed by Portlaoise town councillors, who have unanimously rejected the idea of traffic lights at this spot.
“The public are horrified at this idea,” said Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald at County Hall recently.
“No public representative here supported (director of services) Kieran Kehoe on putting traffic lights there,” declared Cllr Willie Aird, adding that people on the Block Road had not been consulted.
The junction was discussed at last week’s meeting of Portlaoise Town Council, where Cllr Fitzgerald requested Laois County Council to reconsider the idea of traffic lights at the Block Road/Stradbally Road junction.
She was informed in a written reply from PJ Dempsey of the road design office, read out to the meeting by town clerk Pamela Tynan, that the provision of traffic lights at the Block Road/Stradbally Road junction is being actively considered, but there are a number of constraints such as adjacent dwellings and the presence of a “large and important tree”.
Mr Dempsey went on to say that the road design office is working on a design to optimise the flow of traffic through the junction, although funding will have to be sourced for the provision of these lights.
“I’m glad they’re having problems with the traffic lights,” remarked Cllr Fitzgerald. “If you put in traffic lights, when the schools open you’re going to have traffic built up there. The public are horrified at this idea, the more people I’ve spoken to the more worried they are.”
She said that before all the money is spent there is “loads to be addressed” and she called for an urgent meeting with the roads department.
Traffic management at this busy road junction in Portlaoise has long been on the town council’s agenda, and at present there are a number of planning applications lodged with County Hall for commercial developments in the area which include proposals for traffic lights at this signalised junction.