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Inventor and science fiction writer’s outlandish idea for Bristol ‘park and glide’ cable car system

Inventor and science fiction writer’s outlandish idea for Bristol ‘park and glide’ cable car system
01 Jun
1:52

An inventor and science fiction writer believes Bristol could be transformed by cable cars moving people in and out of the city.

The outlandish idea is for a ‘park and glide’ system where people are carried to the city centre from as far out as Long Ashton and Brislington by ski lifts towering above the city.

Stuart Olds from Keynsham said he first proposed the idea to Bristol City Council 15 years ago but added “It’s very slow going.”

In London, a cable car whisks people across the Thames
(Image: The Wharf)

Mr Olds, the author of 2011 science fiction book Hope’s Truth, said the project is not as ambitious or as expensive and the proposed Bristol underground if it was ever built.

The 48-year-old said: “I thought it would be a great idea to use it as a transport scheme in Bristol because it’s so up and down. It was over 15 years ago I approached the council. They’d never heard of it before as a transport scheme.

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“That’s the idea we’ve got people in and out of the city in 30 minutes. It reduces traffic that would be on the roads. It’s a case of getting traffic off the roads and releasing them for things that need to be on the roads.

“It would take a lot of planning. It’s a big project. It’s nowhere near as big or as expensive as an underground.”

Mr Olds’ idea is for a ski-lift-type system with arms reaching across Bristol, including Long Ashton, Fishponds, Clifton, Brislington, and even Keynsham with a central station in the centre.

He said the project could be part-powered by hydro barges in the Severn Estuary. Hydro barges are submerged turbines attached to floating barges that use the water currents to generate power.

Inventor and science fiction writer Stuart Olds, who has an idea for a cable car system in Bristol
(Image: Stuart Olds)

Mr Olds said the “Park and Glide” in Bristol would cost £1.2million per mile, but that does not include the cost of supporting towers.

He added: “The cost of the whole thing, point-to-point, I just can’t say.”

The shuttles would travel at 17mph, taking around 30 minutes to travel from the outskirts to the centre, and would be fitted with wifi, according to Mr Olds’ vision.

Also known as “cable propelled transit”, cable cars were invented as transport at ski resorts, however some cities outside of Europe have adopted them as part of their transport system.

Venezuela, Algeria, Brazil and Colombia all have cities utilising cable cars as transport solutions.

In London, a 1km long cable car system transports people from one side of the River Thames in Greenwich. But critics questioned whether the cable car could be a practical transport link rather than an attractive addition to the skyline.

Mr Olds, who is the director of I and M Projects, listed on Companies House as a pluming, heat and air-conditioning installation firm, said he has been in contact with house builders Taylor Wimpey, cable car manufacturers Doppelmayr as well as the council.

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said: “Thank you for the opportunity to comment, however Taylor Wimpey is politely declining to do so at this time.”

Doppelmayr’s spokesperson was unable to find any information about the project.

Source: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/inventor-science-fiction-writers-outlandish-1626801

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