asked the Minister for Local Government if he is in a position to specify the engineering difficulties which make it difficult to establish subway street crossings in the City of Dublin.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Subway Street Crossings.
The engineering difficulculties referred to are set out in a letter from the Dublin Corporation to the Department which reads as follows:—
"This question was considered at length by the sub-committee on traffic conditions set up by the corporation and having heard the views of the city engineer on the difficulties which the provision of such subways would involve, the committee agreed that they were not warranted.
The ideal subways should be just below street level and approached by gentle slopes of maximum grades of 1:15 so as to be convenient for the use of elderly and infirm people, children and women with perambulators. When steps are used it is primarily important that the subways be just below street level so that the number of steps is kept to the very minimum, otherwise the public will not avail of them.
The committee considered various suggested sites for subways. One of these was at College Green at Cook's corner. At this point, the main sewer runs down Grafton Street, in front of Trinity College and down College Street, and other services in the street include 24" and 8" gas mains, 7½" water mains and electricity and post office cables. This would mean that the subway would have to go down fairly deep so as to miss these services, and if an approach of the required grade were to be provided, the exit would be somewhere in the vicinity of Trinity Street or, alternatively, the front basement of one of the buildings near the corner would have to be taken over. The cost of providing such a subway was estimated at £30,000. Another suggested site was at Westmoreland Street at the Ballast Office to Purcell's corner, but it was found that an exit for a subway here would necessitate using the area at the Ballast Office enclosed by railings and the cellars underneath that office. This would cost approximately £9,000.
The same difficulties apply to all the other sites suggested and, as a result, the committee decided not to proceed."
Would the Parliamentary Secretary suggest that the committee might reconsider the question as an aid to relieving traffic congestion in the city, in addition to providing facilities for elderly people? Is he aware that most large cities which have similar traffic problems have these facilities?
I am so aware. My information is that this sub-committee did examine the question of providing subways in relation to the traffic problem.
Was the sub-committee concerned in one of the examples by the fact that it would cost £9,000?
I do not know.
It seems to be the governing condition of the position.
The letter does not suggest that the primary consideration was the actual cost.