The N80 junction in Mountmellick to get a roundabout
A new roundabout and three pedestrian crossings are to be installed at a large busy junction on the Portlaoise road into Mountmellick in Laois.
The new roundabout on the N80 at Irishtown replaces a T junction, and was first requested by residents who are concerned at the speed of passing N80 traffic.
They submitted a petition about their concerns to Laois County Council last year, after a crash that smashed two parked cars on the road, the latest in several crashes.
Part 8 planning approval was given at the June meeting of Laois County Council, proposed by Mountmellick Cllr Paddy Bracken, and seconded by Cllr David Goodwin.
“I welcome this, it is a very worthy scheme that will bring great safety to that junction, it is very welcome,” Cllr Bracken said.
The upgrade is understood to cost in the region of €100,000, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) will cover the cost as the scheme is on a national road.
The council said the roundabout is a safety upgrade to improve pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular safety, and make turning movements at the junction of the N80 and L-6131-0 easier, particularly for traffic turning towards the St Joseph’s Terrace road.
There will be three controlled pedestrian crossings at the roundabout.
New build-outs and footpaths will also be provided. Residents beside the junction will have a newly designed access including nine parking spaces.
A submisison was made by Anngrove Stud to keep their entrance free of parking spaces or road markings, to facilitate vehicles visiting the business, is still being considered. The council had proposed a yellow box at the entrance.
"A final decision has not been made on this aspect of the proposal, it is still under consideration and will be finalised at a later date," Laois County Council confirmed on July 4.
The roundabout is expected to act as a traffic calming measure the council say.
There was one submission against the roundabout, by a couple living close by who said it will cause large trucks to increase emissions near their home if they are in a traffic tailback at a roundabout. They suggest the €100k cost be instead put towards designing a bypass of Mountmellick.
Another 17 residents at the location welcomed the roundabout, and at their request a third pedestrian crossing is to be built at the tennis courts.