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17 May 2022

Laois bus shelter promise stuck in neutral for nearly decade

Locations revealed for five new Laois bus shelters

Every village in Laois should have a bus shelter but two communities are waiting years to get shelters, a recent Laois County Council meeting heard.

Cllr Ollie Clooney, Independent, appealed for a new bus shelter in Cullohill but he was warned by fellow independent Cllr James Kelly that two communities are waiting for shelters promised eight years ago.

Mr. Adrian Barrett, Senior Engineer at Laois County Council, had a promising update for Cllr Clooney at a recent meeting of the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District.

“The Active Travel Engineer will arrange to meet Cllr Clooney on site to review and agree the most appropriate intervention. Following on from this meeting, an application for funding for a bus shelter will be made to the National Transport Authority (NTA),” said the written reply.

Cllr Cooney welcomed this commitment but believes a policy should be adopted to go further because buses are vital to rural communities.

“I’d like to see a bus shelter in every rural village because…with bus shelters I’m sure more people would go on them. In winter you cannot wait around in the rain waiting,” he said.

He added that the rising cost of fuel means more people will have to take buses. 

Cllr Kelly backed his colleague. He said shelters would encourage bus use instead of cars. However, he warned his colleague not to expect the shelters to be installed any time soon.

“I hope Cullohill doesn’t have to wait as long as we have to wait Mountrath and Castletown. We’ve been looking for them since 2014. It’s been in the budget for three years and there are still no shelters,” he said.

Cllr John King, Fine Gael, backed  his colleagues. He said there is a safety reason also.  

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