View plans of offroad cycle track and footpath to Portlaoise schools

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

View plans of offroad cycle track and footpath to Portlaoise schools

View plans of offroad cycle track and footpath to Portlaoise schools

Plans are going on public display this week for a cycle and footpath leading from a Portlaoise park to many Portlaoise schools.

Laois County Council is putting on display their design for a pedestrian/cycle link from the Portlaoise Southern Circular road, beside Summerhill school campus, through the People’s park exiting near the church. 

They propose a 3metre wide combined footpath/cyclepath, with public lighting along the route. It is to have biodiversity– pollinator friendly planting,  bat and bird boxes installed, with a timber post & rail fence in some areas. 

The path will form a link to the proposed Triogue Blueway that will run through the town off road as far as Green Mill Lane.

New pathway below shown in red. 

The council say it will benefit Portlaoise in many ways, providing a sustainable safe method of transport by replacing school car traffic, meeting the Low Carbon Town aims, supporting the Masterplan to develop lands in the area and supporting the Portlaoise Walking and Cycling Strategy.

The council will publish a notice this week of when the Part 8 plans can be viewed and public opinions welcomed. 

Portlaoise Municipal District councillors welcome the plan, including Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald.

“I am delighted. It is great news for Portlaoise. It will be a huge safe asset for students to walk or cycle to school,” she said.

Cllr Willie Aird said the new path is a “win win situation”, but  repeated his request for a safer route in another section of town, along Fr Browne Avenue to the Mountrath road, now used as a bypass of the town from the new Southern Circular Route.

“The speed of traffic, the huge number of artic lorries for the number of cyclists on it, it is dangerous. We can see with Covid the number of people out, the  most important thing is the safety,” he said.

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said that Portlaoise is leading by example to reduce carbon emissions, while Cllr Mary Sweeney said it would be a “very exciting” project, welcoming the surge in interest in cycling across the county since Covid arrived.

Cllr Noel Tuohy said that families are coming from Stradbally  and Timahoe so they can walk and cycle with their children around Portlaoise.