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‘The traffic in Portlaoise is absolutely unreal now – it’s bumper to bumper’ – Cllrs emphasise need for Portlaoise Bus Service

Laois County Council were this week called upon by Councillors to press Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD on the urgent need for the implementation of a bus service in Portlaoise.

It was announced in June that a new bus service would be coming to the town, with the timeframe being down for early 2024.

The plan is for a new dedicated bus service with two routes in the town of Portlaoise with up to 70 stops.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald has said that the need for this bus service “is getting more urgent by the day.

“The traffic in Portlaoise is absolutely unreal now – it’s bumper to bumper.

“I don’t know how we’re going to progress this bus service, but it is so badly needed – the traffic is horrendous no matter what road you go on.

“One time it used to just be the Dublin Road and the Mountmellick Road, but it’s every single road now, and every single street.

“This bus service is necessary; we have to get it as soon as we can – and when we do get it, we have to encourage people to use it.”

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley fully supported the call, saying the bus service should has been badly needed for years.

Cllr Stanley said she has been contacted by numerous members of the public about the timeframe and requested an update from the Council.

Cllr James Kelly also supported the calls, adding that the new bus service would have additional benefits to Portlaoise, including reducing the carbon footprint of the County.

Mr Simon Walton, Director of Services reminded Cllrs that the project, which is being financed by the National Transport Authority (NTA), is next in line after the completion of similar schemes in Carlow and Clonmel.

“We are in regular contact with the NTA,” Mr Walton said.

“There is the question of a civil package to implement (the bus service) and a tender by the NTA to seek the appointment of an operator for the service.

“They are the two outstanding items left, and it has been indicated to us that both of those will progress over the course of 2024.”

The Carlow town bus service was launched by Minister Ryan in July of this year, while Clonmel’s service began taking passengers this week on Monday, December 11.

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