04 Dec 2021

Portlaoise has 'reputation' for roundabouts while rural Laois school cries out for one

Portlaoise's 100 km an hour roundabout on Laois Carlow road

People in Balinakill are ‘annoyed’ and feel like they are not getting sufficient funds or work done in their area compared to Portlaoise according to councillors.

Cllr John Joe Fennelly tabled a notice of motion at the recent Portlaoise Municipal District meeting asking for a roundabout to be installed at the junction of Heywood Community School, Balinakill, he said Portlaoise has gotten roundabouts and safety measures but the school with over 700 students and staff has gone without.

“This is one area that I have been looking at for the last number of years and it deserves a roundabout. It deserves certainly a new layout of the junction and all I am asking is that this one will be taken seriously now because the last two times I put it in it hasn't been taken seriously and that's the very same response I am getting,” he said.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said people are frustrated that Portlaoise gets the majority of resources.

“People in Balinakill are very, very annoyed out there that this hasn't been addressed and they are more or less saying that you get everything you want in Portlaoise to be fair you have people complaining of too many roundabouts.

“This is a serious issue for the community out there and the students and local residents. I can see where John Joe is coming from people are annoyed out there, they feel they are not getting sufficient funds or the work done for them in their area,” she said.

Cllr Mary Sweeney, who is on the school’s Board of Management said this is ‘a serious road issue’.

“There have been a couple of accidents at that location. I remember with the snow it was treacherous and lethal there are so many students and so many people it's just very dangerous and anything we can do to make it safer is welcome,” she said.

Cllr Noel Tuohy said you can’t go wrong with a roundabout.

“We have this reputation of having too many roundabouts, I would rather err on the side of having them particularly where there are schools you can't go wrong with a roundabout,” he said.

Mr Farhan Nasiem in the council’s road design section said he will review this junction in view to improve safety. Any proposed works will be subject to funding being available.

MORE: Lorries and heavier traffic expected to pass Portlaoise school when new road opens

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