Latest Laois News: Need for Mountmellick Bypass raised yet again in Dáil
Need for Mountmellick Bypass and Laois bus routes raised in the Dáil – Stanley
Local Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley raised the need for the Mountmellick bypass and improving infrastructure on bus routes in Laois in the Dáil this week.
Speaking on Sinn Féin proposals to improve local and regional transport, the Deputy said:
“For years, I have been calling for the construction of the Mountmellick N80 bypass. This is an important regional infrastructure project. It has been promised for decades with little progress.
The feasibility study was completed last year. The Government needs to be ambitious about regional transport and it needs to be backed up with money.
The Mountmellick bypass is based on a busy route, the N80, connecting the Midlands and the West to the Port of Rosslare. This is of even more significance now due to Brexit, since hauliers using the route to get goods to Rosslare and directly to the Continent, understandably bypassing the British land bridge.’’
“The current situation is completely unacceptable and ignores the serious traffic issues on the ground in Mountmellick. Trucks are driven through the centre of the town. There is a T-junction in the middle of Mountmellick. Lorries have to cross over to the wrong side of the road, at the very far side, to get around this. This presents danger for motorists and pedestrians. Despite all of this, the project is not included in the National Development Plan.’’
“I tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister for Transport some time ago and was informed that the project was not even included in the National Roads Programme for 2018-2027.
I ask the Minister to look at the N80 again. It is carrying a substantial amount of traffic, including from the Minister’s county, to the West. Traffic coming from Mayo, Roscommon and other counties and going to Rosslare are travelling through the centre of Mountmellick. I ask the Minister to revisit that.
“I also want to raise the need for bus shelters. I have been raising this with the National Transport Authority for years. If we are going to get people to use buses, we have to provide bus shelters. Borris in Ossary, Mountrath Castletown on the R445 need bus shelters, Ballylinan, Newtown and Crettyard on the N77 need bus shelters too.’’
“If we expect people to use the bus, that is what we have to do. People catching the bus in those localities are getting soaked on a wet day, or on a wet morning going to work, to a hospital appointment or to anything else.
Bus shelters are fundamental infrastructure. I ask the Minister to take this up with the NTA. Why is it so difficult to put these in place? In the neighbouring jurisdiction, just up the road in the North, there are bus shelters all over the place, even for school transport.’’
“We need to give that role to the local authorities and let them provide bus shelters. They will provide shelters and keep them. The NTA is not the right body. If you have to write to somebody in Dublin about a bus shelter at Crettyard, the game is lost.”