Plans revealed for European-inspired cable car ride in scenic Sheffield valley

Shoppers could have a FUN-icular way to travel in Sheffield with plans for an unusual lift.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:27 am

A funicular could be built in Stocksbridge to transport people between Fox Valley shopping centre and the main High Street.

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

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

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How The Stocksbridge Funicular Could Look (image Welcome to Stocksbridge)

They say 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. It would run from land adjacent to Liberty Steel to the High Street.

Ian came up with the idea after seeing them in Europe, Wales and Scarborough to solve transport issues over steep terrains.

He said: “After a little research it became apparent there have been many advancements in this sector, with Europe’s leading company developing one that looks perfect for us – the incline elevator – to link Fox Valley with the re-energised High Street.

“It’s accessible to all and will hopefully add to the environment and differentiate Stocksbridge from other towns.

“It’s not a long ride, from Manchester Road to the bottom it will be 35 meters, of which the funicular track will be about 12m travelling at a planned 30 degrees.

“We bridge the steelworks train track to facilitate it. It won’t take long at all to travel that distance but will just be a very convenient and innovative way of getting between the two levels.”

Ian says the idea is advanced and looking promising, with a fall back solution also being considered.

He added: “It’s being enthusiastically supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, and has the support of the Towns Fund grant body subject to answering questions on running costs, which we are currently addressing.

“If the one in Stocksbridge is a success and is seen as a different but practical way to address topography problems, then maybe we could see more on Sheffield’s hills.”