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16/10/2021

Not all happy with traffic calming through Laois village for schoolchildren's safety

Not all happy with traffic calming through Laois village for schoolchildren's safety

Tobar an Léinn NS in Raheen, Laois

Not all residents are happy with the big changes planned to calm traffic on busy road through a Laois village.

Raheen village is to get measures proposed by Laois County Council to make it safer for schoolchildren and all pedestrians.

They include traffic calming ramps, a pedestrian zebra crossing, the narrowing of the road and a new footpath to the cemetery carpark all aimed at improving  road  safely.

Portlaoise area engineer Wes Wilkinson explained their plans.

 "We agreed after meeting the Portlaoise Municipal District  councillors to first consult with the school, playschool, residents and agri contractors on site to hear their concerns and proposals," he said.

“Raheen village is in the vicinity of the school. There were concerns about traffic volume, and the safety of children crossing from the playschool to the primary school. they also cross for things like breakfast and homework clubs. 

“A significant number cross there three or four times a day. Parking is ad hoc, albeit there is carparking available at the GAA, cemetery and the church. 

“There is concern for the speeds of traffic through the village, and there is quite a lot of agricultural activity.

“People are travelling through it from Portlaoise to Abbeyleix, so there is quite a bit of traffic for  a small area,” the engineer said.

The cost will mostly be covered by a €50,000 Clár grant.

Not all residents are happy with the proposals, according to Portlaoise councillors, speaking at the May Municipal District meeting where the plans had been outlined.

"This is about the safety of children going to school. I know some residents may not agree with a ramp but with more public consultation I think this is a very good proposal," said Cllr John Joe Fennelly.

"I welcome the new path and crossing. It's not easy to solve. Talk to the people who have a problem with the ramps. Meet there with all the parties before we sign off on the plan. It's not set in stone yet," said Cllr Willie Aird.

"Be sure that you include all those not particularly happy with the proposals. I agree that the safety of children is a priority," said Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley.

The public are invited to make written submissions. Plans can be viewed on www.laois.ie or at the council offices by appointment or at Tobar an Léinn school until July 1.

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