Cash secured for new car park at booming Laois tourist attraction

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Cash secured for new car park at booming Laois tourist attraction

A booming Laois tourism attraction is set to benefit from an additional car park due to overcrowding.

Residents around Glenbarrow in the Rosenallis area of the Slieve Bloom Mountains are getting blocked into their houses when people flock to the waterfall and mountain walkway during good weather.

This is according to Cllr Paddy Bracken who tabled a notice of motion at a recent council meeting asking Laois County Council to address the traffic and safety issues at Glenbarrow, Rosenallis.

Senior Executive Engineer at Laois County Council Mr Paul McLoughlin has said that the local authority has applied for and secured funding for the construction of an additional car park.

“This will improve the visitor experience and ease the difficulty being experienced by residents in the area.

“Consultation with Coillte is ongoing with a view to delivering this project in the later stages of 2018.

"Laois County Council has carried out considerable improvement works at this location in recent years consisting of provision of a car park, upgrade and overlay of the public road which included passing bays for vehicles.

"Notwithstanding these improvements the popularity of this scenic recreational facility has lead to severe congestion and difficulty for visitors and residents of the area particularly on weekends with fine weather," Mr McLoughlin said.

In the meantime, signs will be installed requesting motorists to park in an appropriate manner and not to block the public road.

Cllr Paddy Bracken welcomed the additional car park to free up access in case of an emergency.

“The fear is if there is ever an emergency where an ambulance, fire service or gardai are required if someone slips or gets hurted, emergency access would be difficult on a fine day. It is a huge attraction when the fine weather comes in at all,” he said.

Cllr Seamus McDonald also welcomed the addition of a car park.

“As the Chair of the Slieve Bloom Committee I am aware of big issues with residents who have problems getting out of their houses when the roads are blocked with cars. We all welcome tourists to the area but the car park is not big enough,” he said.

Cllr James Kelly questioned if people would pay attention to the signs in the interim. Mr Paul McLoughlin said this will come down to driver behaviour and civic responsibility.

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