HERE’S a council explanation that’s really a load of old mollusks - it will take €3,000 to repair the traffic lights at James Fintan Lalor Avenue in Portlaoise, which have not been working for some time thanks to an infestation of snails.
Last week’s meeting of Portlaoise Town Council in County Hall listened bemused as town engineer, Farhan Nasiem explained that a part is needed to repair the lights after the inner circuitry was shorted out by snails. Mr Nasiem said that it would take two to three weeks for the part to arrive.
“Well, I hope the snails aren’t delivering the part,” remarked Cllr Kathleen O’Brien.
Cllr O’Brien said there had been an accident at the lights recently and she described the crossing as highly dangerous.
Cllr Alan Hand said that a sign should be put up, warning oncoming motorists that the lights are not working.
Mayor of Portlaoise, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald remarked that the lights were not that long erected and she asked how much it would cost to repair them.
Mr Nasiem replied it would cost €3,000 to fix, but this amount is to be paid by the NRA. Mr Nasiem gave a promise to cover the lights in the meantime and put up a sign warning oncoming vehicles.
Speaking after the meeting to the Leinster Express, Mr Nasiem said that the equipment would normally be sealed properly, but someone had tried to open a small door in the lights which had left the inside exposed. It was this opening that allowed what he believed to have been snails to get in and short circuit the system.