Laois leisure centre walking track described as 'pitch dark'

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois leisure centre walking track is in the dark

Laois leisure centre walking track is in the dark

A public Laois leisure centre's walking track is ‘pitch dark’ a local councillor has said.

Portlaoise Leisure Centre’s walking track has never been so busy with Covid-19 refocusing people on the benefits of getting outdoors to exercise.

However the dark winter nights have highlighted a big problem, part of the track has no lighting.

A Portlaoise councillor says that it is not safe. 

Cllr Willie Aird tabled a motion to the November meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District, calling on Laois County Council to install lights “as a matter of urgency” along the walking track beside the railway wall.

The centre remains closed but the council recently announced €210,000 to renovate and reopen it along with Portarlington’s Leisure Centre as they are to be amalgamated under one management. 

However the reply given to Cllr Aird is that there is no funding for new streetlights and the limited money available is used maintain existing lights.

“Installation of streetlights will be subject to funding being available,” roads engineer Farhan Nasiem stated, while agreeing to review the location. 

“I am disappointed. There is probably quadruple the number of people using it. It is pitch dark on that side, it’s unfair, it’s an oversight on behalf of the council. It should have been done, it can’t wait. I am sorry to say it’s not safe,” Cllr Aird said.

His motion was seconded by Cllr Noel Tuohy.

“This is vital, there could be hundreds there at any given time,” he said.

Below: Portlaoise leisure centre with the walking track on the left.