Latest Laois News: Call for improved Travel Infrastructure in Portarlington

Latest Laois News: Call for improved Travel Infrastructure in Portarlington

Greens Call for Improved Active Travel Infrastructure in Portarlington

Portarlington has been underfunded for active travel for years, according to local Green Party representative John Holland. He is calling on Laois County Council to now provide improved walking and cycling infrastructure.

“Portarlington and its surrounding areas need to be more pedestrian and cycle friendly and more accessible for local residents of all ages and abilities,” says Mr. Holland. “We need to see Portarlington more as a placeand less as a thoroughfare. The key consideration needs to be the vulnerable road user. This is clearly not currently the case in Portarlington where cars are the primary consideration in current planning and infrastructure.”

In a detailed submission to the County Council, Mr Holland has pointed out the changing commuter trends in the town and the growing level of remote working. He has highlighted the Council’s obligations under the Smarter Travel Scheme and the importance of using the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) as a guiding document for a new infrastructure.

Local Green Party representative John Holland and Minister Pippa Hackett checking out the walking and cycling facilities in Portarlington

“Portarlington is designated as a Key Service Town within Laois and should be treated accordingly,”

he says.

Green Party Minister Pippa Hackett says funding has been made available to local authorities for this work and there is no longer any excuse for not providing a good active travel system in a town like Portarlington.

“The Government has made €50million available to local authorities for active travel as well as approving the appointment of 248 staff nationwide to work on improved infrastructure,” she points out.

“Giving Portarlington a good public realm in its town centre and good access for walking and cycling could dramatically change the town for the better. It has a particularly young population ­- 53% of the population is under 35 – and we could eliminate a lot of short car journeys by offering them betters routes to the town centre.”

Here is a synopsis of the 13 specific proposals made to Laois County Council by John Holland:

  1. Introduce 30km/h speed limit within the town (focussing especially on schools and main streets) – e.g. Station Road, Canal Road + R420 main road through Portarlington from Lea Road/Canal Road junction to outside town boundary on Offaly side
  2. Priority pedestrian/raised zebra crossings at Maxol roundabout (start of Upper Main St.)
  3. Priority pedestrian/raised zebra crossings on Upper Main St
  4. Redesign of parking/footpaths on Upper Main St
  5. Standard Cycle lane(s) on Upper Main Street from Maxol roundabout – to Library – along Link Road to Market Square and up Patrick St to Colaiste Iosagain
  6. Continuation of dual cycle lane on Canal Road from Scoil Phadraig (Boys school) to the Odlum’s roundabout
  7. Bollards on existing cycle lanes on Station Road at Presentation Girls’ school (pharmacy side + before and after bollarded sections on school side)
  8. Cycle lanes on Station Road from Odlum’s roundabout to train station
  9. Standard Cycle lanes on Crowe Lane to Ballymorris Road roundabout and down to Sandy Lane national school
  10. Footpath on right hand side of Station road from Portarlington train station to the turnoff for Corrig Wood.
  11. Footpaths on Portlaoise Road R419 to Blackhall Bridge and up Canal Road to Ballymorris Road junction.
  12. Footpath on Corrig Lodge road from Corrig Wood to last houses before Tirhogar Drive
  13. Footpath on Lea Road R420 to the rugby club
Call to improve both walking and cycling infrastructure in Portarlington📷 Con Murphy Photography