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Revised, reduced fares to become available for public transport in Portlaoise in the future

Revised, reduced fares will become available for public transport in Portlaoise in the future according to Laois County Council.

Speaking at the March meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District this week, Mr Simon Walton, Director of Services told members that the National Transport Authority (NTA) intends to publish plans for the second phase of implementation of the National Fares Strategy later in 2024.

Mr Walton said this will extend the Commuter Zone “to areas beyond the new Dublin Commuter Area, including Portlaoise, where a revised system of fares will be introduced for inter-city rail and national bus services.”

The news came in response to Fine Gael Cllr Barry Walsh, who had called for Portlaoise to be considered for the commuter zone “and in turn apply commuter zone fares for public transport including railway services in the form of a Leap Card or similar.

“These fares are substantially cheaper than the standard city fares.

“We’re trying to encourage use of public transport, but we need to give them an incentive, and the best incentive is through the pocket.

“Laois has a significant commuter population which deserves a serious consideration. 6,200 people in Laois commute for over an hour every day – 66% of those people use their car to get to work.”

Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley supported the motion, saying “Portlaoise is a commuter town, but people are using cars because they can’t afford the public transport.”

Cllr Walsh went on to call for safety and sight line works to be carried out at both ends of Ballydavis, Portlaoise, saying “both junctions with Coolbanager Road and Derrygarren Road are difficult to exit and have poor sight lines.”

Mr Wes Wilkinson, Senior Executive Engineer said he will meet Cllr Walsh on site “to investigate any improvements that might be made in the short term.”

Mr Wilkinson said the Portlaoise Municipal District Office will include this location on an application for safety improvement works funding.

Cllr Walsh also called on the Municipal District to contact Eir regarding a service pole causing a traffic hazard at the entrance to a haulage lorry yard in Colt, Ballyroan.

Mr Wilkinson the location will be examined and he will “contact EIR and the property owner regarding making arrangements to move the pole at this location as appropriate.”

SEE ALSO – New online tracker ‘gives unique insight into progress of Laois’s €18.2 million Urban Regional Development Fund projects’