Laois councillors had to go through Minister's office to get response on road markings

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Laois councillors had to go through Minister's office to get response on road markings

Portlaoise councillors had to communicate with the state agency in Ireland dealing with roads through Laois TD and Minister Charlie Flanagan’s office in order to get a reply.

There was a row between councillors over where responses were coming from and why they had to go through Minister Flanagan to get a response on a continuous white line after numerous attempts to have the work done through motions at meetings.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said it is ‘ridiculous’ that after numerous motions to get the continuous white line back on the road at Bondra Lane on the Abbeyleix Road, Portlaoise it took the Minister’s office for communication to come back.

“I think incredible that a white line was taken out of it and we are after bringing it up we had to go to the Minister for Justice of this country to know if we can put back down a white line. In all fairness where are we going?

“People talk about common sense and trying to get things done but it has been brought up here on numerous occasions and brought through Laois County Council. It seems ridiculous when there are such urgent issues for a Minister for Justice for us having to go through to get a white line put back in that's what I can't understand,” she said.

Cllr Willie Aird tabled the notice of motion at the Portlaoise Municipal District meeting on Wednesday asking the council to call on Transport Infrastructure Ireland TII to reinstate the white line.

The line was previously removed and changed to a broken line to signal danger ahead which people are interpreting as a broken white line permitting overtaking according to councillors.

Farhan Nasiem in the Road Section said it would refer the issue to TII.

Cllr Mary Sweeney read a letter she received from TII through Minister Charlie Flanagan’s office stating that the junction at Bondra Lane is with the Kildare National Roads Office where a design is being drawn up for the junction.

Cllr Willie Aird said this matter should not have to go to Kildare to be dealt with. He argued that the response and the work should be able to go through Laois County Council's Road's Section.

“My argument is why was the continuous white line taken out of it in the first place, who made that decision? We have to go back to Kildare County Council to have the continuous white line put back on the road. Are we going to see a situation where our director of services on housing will have to get on to Offaly County Council in order to do up a house," he said.

Cllr Noel Tuohy said councillors seem 'totally toothless' if they need to send letters through the Minister's office to get a response. 

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley welcomed the response from TII.

“I think it’s a good news story, they are looking at the whole junction. Mary used the facility of Charlie Flanagan's office to get a response, I don't know of anybody that doesn't do that. We are not toothless, I think it would be wrong to send out that message,” she said.