25th Sep, 2020

Hill walkers divided after cable car plans rejected

Malvern Editorial 26th Feb, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

OPINIONS were split between walkers on the Malvern Hills after ambitious proposals to build a cable car on the historic landmark were knocked back.

The Malvern Conservators held a special meeting of the board in a bid to throw out plans, with 21 members voting against, none for and one abstaining.

Malvern for All, who proposed the scheme, were hoping the car would run from Rose Bank Gardens to the Worcestershire Beacon and saw the idea slammed by members, but users of the hills were more balanced in their thoughts.

Jennifer Gates, member of Sole Mates walking group, said: “It was a bad idea from the start and the hills should not be spoilt in that way.

“We regularly come up for walks on the hills and it is nice to have somewhere unspoilt, it is not a mountain and it is for everyone to enjoy. We would have been heartbroken if it happened.”

However Pat Dorman, from neighbouring Worcester, said the cable car would have helped both him and his wife, who has arthritic knees, reach the summit.

“I am honestly disappointed it was rejected and it is not going to happen,” he said.

“The cable car would get you to the top of the hills and will only affect a limited area. It would certainly help get my wife – and other people who can’t access it – up to the top.

“I will never get to go up to the top with my wife and I do think it is important to get older people still going up the hills.”

A selection of board members were in favour of the idea, but said at the meeting they were bound by the law to vote against it and Gill Sackett, who regularly walks her elderly friend’s dog up the hills, was all for the structure.

“If you have been a long user of the hills I would say it is a great shame to then not be able to use them when your legs aren’t working as much any more,” she said.

“I am never anti-things and I think this can only be good for an area – as long as it is done sensibly.

“I just think it would be such a shame for people who eventually won’t be able to get up here.”

But Malvern resident Anne Lewis added: “If we would have had a cable car there we have all the issues about visual intrusion.

“If we would have had a cable car people would start pressing for a café at the top which would further damage the landscape.

“It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I think it would have been visually very intrusive and spoil the nature of the hills.”

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