Laois County Council has given no definite commitment to ensuring adequate funding for traffic calming around Portlaoise in next year’s budget.
At the recent meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District in County Hall, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald proposed a motion calling on the council to make provision in the budget for both traffic calming and public lights.
She received a written reply from Ms Julie Bergin, acting head of finance, stating that “this request will be taken into consideration as part of the 2015 budgetary process”.
Cllr Fitzpatrick expressed her discontent at the reply, saying she expected councillors to have more input into budgetary matters in the wake of the local authority restructure.
“I felt the local council would have more of a say in funding, I was under the impression we would have more of a say, but now I’m getting worried,” she said, adding that it was “very alarming”.
“I’m not too happy with that response,” she said.
“We are supposed to have additional powers,” agreed chairman, Cllr Jerry Lodge.
Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said that housing estates and residential areas should be prioritised in the plans, while Cllr Noel Tuohy said traffic calming was a matter of public safety.
Cllr Tuohy made mention of a resident of the Stradbally Road who had requested a chicane be installed to stop cars travelling at speed along this stretch of road.
“We have to do everything we can to ensure public safety,” Cllr Tuohy said.
However, Cllr Lodge said better education of motorists was also needed.
“Part of it has to be to instil into drivers that they have a responsibility,” Cllr Lodge said.