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Atkins proposes cable car for Bristol

A proposal to build an extraordinary cable-car transit system over Bristol's historic dockyard has been drawn up by consultant Atkins.

The idea would see cable-cars carrying passengers across the city from Temple Meads and up to Clifton, giving an aerial view of the historic docks and Clifton Suspension Bridge.

It would be similar to the Harbour Cable Car in Barcelona, Spain, known as the Transbordador Aeri, which carries 400,000 people a year and operates on 100m high steel lattice masts that take passengers to Montjuc.

Martin Pease, director of Atkins, and the inspiration behind the cable-car system said: "Bristol is a city which benefits from both fantastic topography and beautiful and interesting views.

"Imagine soaring over the City Docks, viewing the historic heart of Bristol and seeing the stunning Avon Gorge come into view with the magnificent Clifton Suspension Bridge.

"This would not be a viable mass transit system to solve Bristol's traffic problems but it could be used by local people to get around and would provide a unique visitor experience to the city.

"Cities are fascinating from the air and our 21st Century high-tech capsules would have an inbuilt audio guide so that the city comes alive to visitors. It would enhance and complement the historic tourist attractions in Bristol and could be as iconic as the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower or the Barcelona cable-car ride that provided the inspiration."

The proposal sees high-tech pods suspended on a series of light-weight pylons, which themselves would be designed to be elegant and beautiful to look at. Travellers in the pods would have a 360 degree bird's eye view of Bristol.

Pease said the project could be created through sponsorship money from business in the same way that British Airways has done with the London Eye and would then generate its own income.

The cable-car proposal will be on display at a special exhibition called 'Building Dreams' which is taking place at The Bristol Architecture Centre, Narrow Quay for a week from 21 January 2008. There visitors will be able to leave comments and their views on the idea.

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