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You are in: Kent > Thames Gateway > Features > Future Gateway: Medway Cable Car!

Artist's impression of the Cable Car at Chatham

Future Gateway: Medway Cable Car!

Chatham isn't the place you'd expect to find a multi-million pound cable car system. But that's what designers hope will transform it from 'run-down town of the past' into 'a European city of the future'.

The Plans

The main aim of the cable car is to link the Medway towns, helping to create a unified Medway City. The cable car station in Chatham will become the heart of this new city, supported by other regions such as Strood, Rochester, Gillingham and Rainham. 

The idea is that the cable car system will appeal to students, commuters and tourists alike.

The London Eye

The London Eye [credit Colin Finch]

Why a Cable Car?

While the shape of the river Medway, with its curves, may be very attractive, it’s not especially practical for residents and commuters. So a cable car has emerged as the perfect solution to the problem - it's also a great alternative to bridges, buses and trains.

Where will it be?

The main station would be at Chatham Waterfront. The cable car will be attached to the new cultural centre which will have an auditorium showing West End shows, and a conference facility with a hotel attached to it. The main station will be linked to the park and ride which will then connect to retail facilities and the universities. Plans are to then run it all the way to Rochester and Strood. 

"The cable car is the perfect answer to the problem of linking up across the Medway and a great alternative to bridges, buses and trains."

Brian Weddell, Head of Medway Renaissance

What will it look like?

The cable car will be made by a company called Poma which has one million metres of cable worldwide and carries five million passengers a year. Brian Weddell, head of the Chatham Waterfront development for Medway Renaissance, says that it will be very much like the cable car system in Medellin, Colombia which carries 50,000 people a day, the equivalent of a London tube train. Poma is also the company that made the pods for the London Eye.

The figures

The cable car is expected to carry 250,000 people a year on average, linking the universities, the docks, retail outlets and important stations.

The cable car in Medellin, Colombia

The cable car in Medellin, Colombia

Costs and funding

The price of the cable car project is very much dependent upon how many stops there will be, but the system is flexible enough to allow for future extensions. However the starting cost is expected to be around £15 million.

The Towers

There are also plans to build either two or three towers that would frame the new heart of Chatham. Designed by Ken Yeang, they are intended to form a focal point for the new city of Medway. The first tower could be built on the location of the existing Sun Pier and the other would be at the other end of Chatham Bay. 

The cable car in Medellin, Colombia

The cable car in Medellin, Colombia

When will it start?

Planners are still on the feasibility stages with the cable car and the towers. Detailed design proposals are due at the end of 2009,  with a detailed funding bid due the following year. The first service is due in 2012.

last updated: 05/06/2008 at 10:06
created: 27/02/2007

You are in: Kent > Thames Gateway > Features > Future Gateway: Medway Cable Car!

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