Proposal to solve lethal junction on N80 Offaly to Laois road rejected

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

One way system to solve dangerous turn on N80 Laois Offaly road rejected

The N80 Mountmellick to Tullamore road with the junction proposed as entrance only by Laois County Council, rejected by councillors.

A €480,000 road safety scheme designed by Laois County Council on the N80 which links Tullamore and Portlaoise has been rejected by councillors in Laois.

The project was designed to solve a dangerous and lethal junction on the N80 Mountmellick to Tullamore road.

The junction is towards Clonaghadoo village has seen many traffic accidents, including several causing deaths, with the most recent fatality happening just two years ago.

The redesign would have closed off entry to the road from the N80, with drivers to enter at another junction further out the Tullamore road.  It was opposed by residents along the road.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Seamus McDonald led a proposal to refuse Part 8 planning, which was being proposed by Laois County Council at their June meeting.

“There are serious issues with residents who are concerned about traffic. There are two cattle dealers in the area and cattle trucks wouldn’t be able to get in their gateway if this was a one way road. There are 12 residents opposed to this, I cannot support it,” Cllr McDonald said.

Fine Gael Cllr David Goodwin agreed. “It is very controversial, there must be another alternative, I propose we don’t go ahead,” he said.

The Director of Services for transportation Kieran Kehoe said they had held further consultations and negotiations with residents. “We agreed with some suggestions by residents, however I respect the councillors’ concerns, it is your function to amend or reject the scheme,” he said.

Cllr McDonald has told the Leinster Express that he is unsure if the council will now offer an alternative design. “The residents say there is another and cheaper alternative, to add an extra lane, and keep traffic moving, but the council designers didn’t go for that. The problem is the speed on the N80, if we could slow traffic it would make an enormous difference. I would love to see a solution where everyone is happy,” he said.

The new design would have meant that traffic coming from Mountmellick on the N80 will no longer turn off for Clonaghadoo at junction L-2091-24. Instead, traffic would pass by this junction and take the next right turn 200m further down the N80 in the direction of Tullamore. The junction would close to all turning movements except turning from the local road onto the N80 towards Mountmellick. The new road that would be used to access Clonaghadoo would have had widening and resurfacing works done.

The rejected plan below: