VISITORS to the Rock of Dunamase could be directed away from the familiar Rock Lane access route, following a proposal from a local councillor.
Cllr Tom Mulhall says traffic going to the heritage site from the N80 Portlaoise-Stradbally road should be rerouted to Grange Upper, instead of using narrow Rock Lane, where residents are worried about increased traffic.
Cllr Mulhall asked Laois Co Council to relocate the N80 sign for the Rock of Dunamase, from Rock Lane to the ‘more direct’ route at Grange Upper. His proposal was supported by cllr Paschal McEvoy at the latest meeting of Graiguecullen-Portarlington municipal district.
Cllr Mulhall pointed out that improvements planned for the Rock of Dunamase site include a car park, which is likely to bring more traffic that will need a better access road. He said that he had received calls from residents who are concerned about the volume of traffic already on the road.
Cllr Mulhall said: “There is no sign for the Grange Upper road, even though it is a better road and it should have been the main road for the Rock of Dunamase from the start. Rock Lane is too narrow and there is no space to pull in. The Grange Upper road is in better condition and maybe further work can be done on it.
He added: “If you have buses coming from the N80, the Grange Upper road will bring you straight up to the Rock of Dunamase, whereas if you are coming in the Rock Lane road you are coming in behind the rock. The residents along Rock Lane are not happy with the volume of traffic that is going up that way on a very local road.”
Area engineer Philip McVeigh replied that there are two directional signs at the existing junction on the N80 for the Rock of Dunamase and both are located in the Portlaoise municipal district. He said cllr Mulhall’s request would be reviewed in consultation with the Portlaoise area engineer.
Cllr Mulhall quipped: “If they move the sign, it will be coming back into the Graiguecullen-Portarlington district and there’s nothing wrong with that.”