Published: 15:13, 29 November 2021
| Updated: 15:13, 29 November 2021
Plans for a cable car in Dover are set to be kicked down the road for the foreseeable future.
The idea of an aerial route linking Dover Castle to the town has been discussed for years, but with seemingly little hope of ever getting off the ground.
Progress was finally made last year when an economic assessment by Dover District Council found that a cable car could be achievable and even commercially viable.
The council started discussions with English Heritage, which owns the castle, to see if the multi-million pound project could go ahead and set £35,000 aside to develop the proposal.
Estimated costs were between £27 million and £32 million.
The council said it would look to raise naming rights sponsorship to help with funding, similar to what happened with the Emirates Air Line cable car that crosses the Thames between Greenwich and the Royal Docks.
However, in May, English Heritage announced the charity could not fund the next stage of the project, saying unacceptable harm could be done to the castle.
Other problems arose from technical studies and surveys, which found that up to 500 extra car parking spaces could be needed in the town, and there would be a high chance of disturbing buried archaeology in Dover valley.
Next Monday, Dover council’s cabinet will formally decide to cease work on the project for the time being, with hopes that the situation will change in the future.
So far the council has spent nearly £135,000 on the project, with £83,000 paying for consultant fees and the economic assessment.
An officer's report for the cabinet said: “Although the provision of a cable car between Dover town centre and Dover Castle has been an ambition of the council for many years, recent investigations have clarified the extremely high level of risk associated with the project.
“Significant progress has been achieved in clarifying the way in which a cable car could be delivered in Dover and there are strong indications that such a project could achieve the proposed strategic aims.
“However, the project remains at an early stage and without support from English Heritage there is little prospect of a successful outcome.
"Should the situation change the information gained should be retained for use at that time.”