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06 Jul 2022

Kildare to Laois traffic calming plan at standstill in Laois council

Kildare to Laois traffic calming plan at standstill in Laois council

Councillors want traffic calming measures at entry to town

Promised safety work to slow traffic from Kildare into Laois in Portarlington has not materialised despite a claimed commitment that plans would be drawn up.

A councillor has taken umbrage with the reply of Laois County Council to a new call to slow Portarlington and Monasterevin traffic at the entrance to the Laois Offaly town.

Cllr Aidan Mullins, Sinn Féin, said he was ‘amused’ with the reply from the council’s road’s section to an issue raised at a recent meeting which revealed that no plans existed months after a meeting was held on the dangerous R420.

Cllr PJ Kelly, Fine Gael, tabled a motion calling on the council to consider measures to slow traffic down on the approach road to Portarlington from Monasterevin at Portarlington Tyres. He suggested traffic islands with signage as the road is wide at this point.

Farhan Nasiem A/Senior Executive Engineer, Road Design Office, replied in writing at the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District December meeting.

“Road Design will arrange a site meeting with the elected member to discuss issues at this location and a proposal will be prepared to rectify the problem,” he said.

While Cllr Kelly welcomed the response, Cllr Mullins was not so satisfied. He said he had raised the issue of speed on the road with officials on a number of occasions.

“I am a bit amused at the response,” he said. 

He said he met with the roads engineer and the area engineer at the location previously. He understood that the issue would be addressed with traffic islands or other controls.

Cllr Mullins said he raised this as recently as last August. 

“I was told that there was a shortage of staff but that they were going to design (the safety works) in the next month. Now they are sending officials to meet on the same thing that is in the pipeline,” he said.

Philip McVeigh, Senior Executive Engineer, acknowledged that the council was considering gateway signage and an island to slow the traffic on the approach to Portarlington. However, he did not know how much work had been done on this.

Cllr Mullins surmised that: “There must be nothing done if he is going to send out officials to do another design. It’s been two years that I have been chasing this - it’s crazy”.

Cllr Kelly suggested that with two councillors now seeking work, the project may be advanced. 

Cllr Aisling Moran, Fine Gael, said timelines must be given and officials held to those so that work is delivered.

The issue was raised at the Municipal District meeting in December.

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