Brighton’s ferris wheel

By | Category: Travel rumblings

On Staten Island in New York they have announced plans for the largest eye or ferris wheel in the world. Here we have the opposite; one is to close.

TBrighton Wheelhe Brighton Wheel will not stay open after May 2016. Brighton and Hove City Council have decided the attraction was “detrimental” to the nearby historic buildings and thus, must go.

When they find evidence of an historic wheel dating back thousands of years or the fact that the Prince Regent rode in one, the short-sighted council might change their minds. Until then, they seem unable to realise that the Brighton Wheel might attract visitors to the city that otherwise wouldn’t come. Or that the two can live in harmony.

Next year a new attraction will open in Brighton. The i360 will be the world’s first vertical cable car and will take visitors 450 feet into the air to look down over Brighton from a brand new, unique modern structure thoroughly out of keeping with the environment and the city’s heritage below. Except that the city worthies seem to have already decided that modern and old don’t mix so why allow one and not the other? Incidentally, the i360 has been designed by the same architects that came up with the London Eye.

The wheel is in an area of conservation and some railings had to be removed when the ferris wheel was installed. Some householders complain they are being overlooked but how much damage has it really done. Council minutes seem to show little.

Most cities would bend over backwards to lure a project that can deliver a couple of hundred thousand visitors a year and all the money that would flow into the local economy. Instead we seem to have a case of nimbyism and the residents probably hoping that they can keep their city as it is.

Has it not occurred to them that this is exactly the sort of attitude that led to the decline of so many seaside resorts? If they don’t want it I bet many other destinations would jump at the chance.


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