Concern over Portarlington bridge accidents

Additional road safety measures are required at Kilbride Bridge in Portarlington which has been the location of many serious accidents.

Additional road safety measures are required at Kilbride Bridge in Portarlington which has been the location of many serious accidents.

The issue was raised recently by Cllr Aidan Mullins at the Graiguecullen - Portarlington Municipal District meeting.

Area engineer Orla Barrett said the bridge was the location of a remedial road safety scheme approximately 5 years ago which included road surfacing, safety barriers and signing and lining.

“Additionally the location is a speed van hot-spot. The location is a difficult one given the alignment over the railway and concealed crossroads. The accident report from the gardai on the recent accident will be examined and should it be possible to make any further improvements to safety a road safety remedial measure scheme will be applied for in the coming year,” a response from Ms Barrett outlined.

Cllr Mullins said it is a big safety concern and while he accepted a point from Ms Barrett that there are warning signs there, he said “the signs don’t really tell the gravity of the situation”. He believed a barrier in the area is still damaged from a previous accident.

“It is very deceptive - it is very easy to lose control there,” Cllr Mullins added.

Ms Barrett said that while there is a speed van present there, once people pass it “they put the boot down”. She added any information on accidents, and the amount of them, which may not always be reported to gardai, would be of assistance to them.

At the same meeting it emerged that no funding is available to allow additional public lighting at the Crow Lane junction on to Main Street in Portarlington.

The measures had been sought by Cllr Tom Mulhall. However, a reply from Laois Co Council’s road design team said there is no available source of funding for the provision of traffic lights at this time.

Some form of traffic management is needed there, Cllr Mulhall said. He said people end up sitting for a long length of time in traffic before being able to move off. If traffic lights can’t be provided, then the road design team will have to look at it again, Cllr Mulhall said.

Kieran Kehoe, director of services said they would look at the matter again.