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Calls for HGVs to be encouraged to use new road in Portlaoise to take them away from schools

A Laois County Councillor has called for HGVs to be encouraged to use a new road that will take them away from encountering school traffic.

The matter of declaring a road at Knockmay a ‘public road’ came before Councillors at the October meeting yesterday.

The new road, part of a the network through J17’s National Enterprise Park, links Junction 17 of the M7 motorway with Portlaoise through Clonminham Industrial Estate.

It starts at the roundabout beside the new Supermac’s and the decision to make it a public road was proposed by Cllr Willie Aird and seconded by Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald.

Cllr Aird says that currently the majority of the traffic coming from the west of Ireland and heading for the port in Rosslare will pass through the new Portlaoise Southern Circular Route.

That is currently home to Holy Family Junior and Senior Schools, Gaelscoil Phortlaoise, Maryborough NS and Portlaoise Educate Together – with plans for the new Dunamase College facility there too.

He said: “I honestly believe the TII should be giving some contribution to Laois County Council for this road you have built.

“Most of the traffic from the West to Rosslare Port will be going through it instead of past schools on the Stradbally road.

“(This new road) will take lorries off the school road. A 1,000 pupil new school is coming there. That will mean 3,000 kids converging on the road, we need to take the heavy goods vehicles off it and this is a golden opportunity.

“Everyone is saying how lovely it is with paths and streetlights, we have to get a grant for it.

“I hope we get a lot of signage to get the HGVs to use it rather than go through the town.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.