Plan to create 'European-style cable car' to transport shoppers up hill falls through

The fun has fallen out of plans to create an unusual lift which would have transported shoppers up a Yorkshire hill.

Plans to create a funicular in Stocksbridge to carry people between Fox Valley shopping centre and the main High Street have been grounded.

Businessman Ian Sanderson and butcher John Crawshaw both worked closely on the proposal, which would have been funded as part of the £24m Stocksbridge Town Deal.

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Ian sits on the Stocksbridge Towns Fund Board and co-chairs the town centre sub committee with John.

How the furnicular could have lookedHow the furnicular could have looked
How the furnicular could have looked

At the time they said it would be a highly original solution to the topography issues of the steep sided valley, carrying pedestrians and bikes, as well as being a tourist attraction.

The 27m long track would have run from land adjacent to Liberty Steel to the High Street.

But the plans have plummeted after it was too complex to secure the land needed to deliver the funicular in time.

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A spokeswoman for the Town’s Fund Board: said: “Anyone who is familiar with Manchester Road in Stocksbridge will know that one of the key issues for shops and businesses is access to parking.

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“Board members explored the idea of utilising some of Liberty Steel’s land to create a new area of public car parking which would have direct access to the shops and facilities on Manchester Road using an innovative lift system because of the significant height difference between the two – something which other towns with similar topographical issues have used to good effect.

“A number of options to create an accessible link were considered and an incline lift was the most practical solution which would definitely have created a point of difference for the town.

“Unfortunately, this element of the wider plans for the town centre has now been withdrawn from the Town’s Fund bid because of the complexities around securing the land needed to deliver the project within the timescales.”

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The spokeswoman added that an alternative parking scheme may still be looked at in the future.

Ian came up with the idea after seeing incline elevators in Europe, Wales and Scarborough to solve transport issues over steep terrains. It was enthusiastically supported by Welcome to Yorkshire.