| 8.4°C Dublin

Stop the lights - contactless crossings to cost €600k

Close

Pedestrian push buttons are going contactless in city centre

Pedestrian push buttons are going contactless in city centre

Pedestrian push buttons are going contactless in city centre

Dublin City Council has splashed out at least €600,000 on contactless pedestrian systems for traffic lights in its latest step to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The modifications will be rolled out to more than 1,500 crossings before Christmas at €200 a pop and each crossing will have one button on either side of the road.

The modifications allow pedestrians to cross the road without having to physically touch the buttons at the crossings.

They work when you hover your hand over the button.

The aim is to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

They are funded by a Government stimulus package and are the first of "several thousand" modifications that will be put in place, according to DCC.

"For now we are starting the rollout by equipping signals in the city centre," said a DCC spokesperson.

"The project intends to roll out this technology to over 1,500 crossings before Christmas.

"Each modification to a button to make it contactless is around €200 and is funded via the Government stimulus package for 2020.

"For each crossing there are two push-buttons, so the figure is €600,000."

The contactless buttons were trialled back in July, where they performed "satisfactorily".

While the spokesperson did not confirm how many buttons will be rolled out, they said it will be "several thousand".

"We are now in a programme to roll out this technology to several thousand of push buttons," the spokesperson said.

Hopes

"As part of this project we have developed with our maintenance contractor a method of retrofitting this technology into existing buttons so we will eventually put this feature into the majority of our buttons."

The council did not clarify exactly how many button modifications will be rolled out in total, however the total cost of the project could be more than €1m.

The council hopes that this will reduce the spread of the virus in the capital, which is currently on a three-week Level 3 lockdown after a high number of cases was recorded.

"The aim is to cut down the amount of people who press the button and allow the features of the buttons for visually impaired and audible impaired to be maintained only for those users who need to touch the button and so reduce risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus," the DCC spokesperson added.

The rollout will begin in the city centre and progress out towards the suburbs in the coming weeks and months.

Some pedestrian crossings in the city centre already have yellow stickers stuck above the buttons, which read: "Do not press, put hand over sensor."