An extended 99 space carpark is planned at a busy Laois train station where commuters often park on the roadside such is the shortage of spaces.
Irish Rail has announced its intention to apply to Laois County Council for permission to extend their carpark at Ballybrophy Train Station. The carpark will quadruple in capacity from 25 spaces to 99.
The appplication is also to widen the existing access road. The works are close to a protected structure.
There will also be a new bicycle shelter for 20 bikes, new footpaths, fencing, kerbing, safety barriers, drainagle, road markings, public lighting, a substation, CCTV, a ticketing machine and electric car charging points.
Iarnród Éireann described the parking situation as "disorganised" in a statement on November 26 about the plan.
"The station Car Park currently has 25 spaces and prior to the current restrictions on people travelling, parking in a disorganised manner on the roadway leading up to the station was common. The upgrade to the Station Car Park will see the number of spaces increase to 99, as well as the provision of 20 bicycle stands.
They say they hope to have it in place by the end of 2021.
"Accessibility around the station will also be improved with new footpaths, pedestrian crossings, lighting and signage being provided. Subject to the planning application being approved, it is anticipated that these works will be completed by the end of next year. This project is part of Iarnród Éireann’s car park expansion programme, which is funded by the National Transport Authority."
See full notice in the November 24 current issue of the Leinster Express newspaper.
The parking issue at Ballybrophy has been raised several times in the past by Laois councillors.
Back in 2016, Mr David Franks, Chief Executive of Irish Rail accepted that there are problems.
“I acknowledge that there is a congestion problem at Ballybrophy car park and that the overflow from the car park is accommodated on the road on the approach to the station. I can confirm that Ballybrophy station is identified as a potential project in the programme. It should however be noted that there has been very limited capital investment funding for station car parking in recent years,” he wrote four years ago.
This had been the response to a request for parking in 2016 by Cllr John King, who said “this is a major and ongoing problem. Householders are offering their own yards as car parks”.