Update on funding hopes for Mountmellick N80 bypass road

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

mountmellick

Smith's Corner Mountmellick on the N80 road.

Laois County Council was reminded this month of the need for a Mountmellick relief road, by local Cllr Paddy Bracken.

The N80 national road goes right through the town centre, bringing a bottleneck of heavy trucks and dangerous fumes.

Cllr Bracken said it must be addressed.

"I don't know what it takes. Mountmellick needs it if ever it needed it. There are up to 10,000 vehicles passing on the N80 24 hours a day. It's a huge volume. What do we need to push it forward? It's fundamental to the town, and the county. this is the route to the west," he said.

Director of Services over Roads Simon Walton is not optimistic, about this project or the final link for Portlaoise, the Northern Circular Route on the Mountmellick side of the town.

"Until they are listed as priorities in the National Development Plan they will not progress.

Before Transport Infrastructure Ireland give funding, the state must see fit to put it into the plan. We gave a submission to reconsider the National Development Plan and we made a strong case for Portlaoise and Mountmellick, and had a comment on Portarlington's relief road too. There is some clarity to come on it," he said.