MORE than 18 years after three roundabouts were suggested for the Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise, the topic came up for discussion at a recent meeting of the local authority.
At a town council meeting in 2006, the late cllr Jerry Lodge told his colleagues that the issue comes up on a “twice-yearly basis” and that councillors are “blue in the face talking about it”. At the same meeting, then town councillor and now Dáil deputy Brian Stanley demanded: “I want to see a complete upgrade of the Mountmellick Road.”
And so the matter rolled around for discussion once again at the recent meeting of Portlaoise Municipal District.
Kicking off the debate, cllr Willie Aird said: “We’ve been led to believe for the past five years that we were getting a roundabout at Newpark. Whoever made the decision that we are not in Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), I want to talk to them.”
Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said: “It’s the highest accident rate area in the town. We need to bring Dunne Stores on Board (seeking planning permission for the redevelopment of their store in that area of the town).”
Cllr Noel Tuohy said: “If we’re not getting a roundabout there the traffic along the Mountmellick Road would need to be addressed.”
Cllr Dwane Stanley said: “We’ve been looking for three roundabouts along the Mountmellick Road for years.”
“This has been a highly contentious issue for the residents living in Newpark. They have put up with a lot,” said cllr Mary Sweeney.
Cllr Thomasina Connell said: “The speed of traffic along the Mountmellick Road needs to be slowed down. What’s needed are roundabouts.”