herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Tourist cable car from Tallaght to the Hell Fire Club 'would cost €50m'

he Hell Fire Club in the Dublin Mountains
he Hell Fire Club in the Dublin Mountains

High hopes for a cable car run in the Dublin Mountains have taken a knock after it emerged it could cost more than €50m to build.

South Dublin County Council agreed last year to commission a feasibility study to examine the cost of constructing a cable car between Tallaght and the Hell Fire Club.

The study had been requested by Sinn Fein councillor Dermot Richardson.

Tourism

It was hoped the cable car would add to the attraction of the popular beauty spot and boost tourism.

However, the outline report, which has now been finalised, said the construction cost would probably be €50m or more, while the operating cost would be "significant" - probably €200,000 a year.

The report predicted that on the basis of a projected 300,000 visitors a year to the proposed Dublin Mountain Visitor Centre, the potential yearly passenger demand for a cable car route would be 30,000.

The report said that if each passenger was charged €25, revenue of €750,000 could be generated each year.

This, according to the outline report, is "equivalent to 1.5pc of an investment cost of €50m, and without taking account of the operating costs".

The report said the original idea was to run the cable car from Tallaght Stadium, which is the most direct route at 4.5km.

However, this would "not be acceptable in terms of safety or for residential amenity for a cable car to traverse above buildings, especially houses".

The outline report suggested a 6km indirect route that would follow open spaces beside public roads at Whitestown Way and Firhouse Road West to Old Bawn before turning south along the Dodder Valley for 1km.

It would then turn eastward at Bohernabreena and pass south at Bohernabreena graveyard to cross farmland and forestry on to the lower mountain slope.

Investors

"I know €50m is a lot out of someone's pocket, but I do believe there are investors out there who would be interested in such a venture," said Mr Richardson. "It's great that the report is back so quickly."

He had said a cable car would be a great asset to the county "and encourage visitors who don't drive to visit the area".

The outline report will now go before the council's Econ- omic and Environment Strat-egic Policy Committees for discussion.

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