York's big wheel turns for the very last time

York Press: A pedestrian walks past the York Wheel as it’s taken down A pedestrian walks past the York Wheel as it’s taken down

EXPERTS have begun dismantling York’s big wheel after it turned for the final time, having carried more than half a million passengers over the past 21 months.

The 53-metre observation wheel, which opened in the Royal York Hotel’s grounds in December 2011, has run out of planning permission after receiving an extension to its original consent earlier this year.

The operators spoke yesterday of their disappointment, and that of the hotel, at the wheel having to leave the ‘ideal location,’ and revealed that it is now set to be moved to another city - possibly somewhere else in Yorkshire.

But John Lowery, operations manager for Wheels Entertainments, the UK arm of wheel owners Dubai-based Freij World Attractions, said it hadn’t ruled out a possible return to York in the future, possibly to a riverside site near Lendal Bridge.

He also claimed that a campaigner against the wheel had recently gone up to one of the 18 members of staff facing redundancy and said they were pleased they were losing their job and the wheel was going.

The wheel was only located at the hotel after a lengthy struggle to find a suitable location.

Plans to site it on land behind York Art Gallery were withdrawn at the last minute in early 2011 after protests from conservationists and local residents, and after York Museums Trust discovered a full bat survey was needed.

The hotel proposals were fiercely opposed by residents of nearby Westgate Apartments, who claimed they would suffer a loss of privacy.

City of York Council has previously said that it wanted “viable, good-quality attractions” in York, but that the planning committee had given a clear indication of its concerns that another extension to permission could lead to the attraction becoming permanent.

York’s first big wheel was sited at the National Railway Museum, attracting 1.2 million visitors, and Mr Lowery said Wheels Entertainments would have considered a return there now, but for the fact the area had since been redeveloped with catering facilities.

He said the wheel dismantling process started on Sunday night after the last rides were taken on Sunday afternoon. Pods were being removed first and the whole process was scheduled to finish by the end of the week, all being well.

Comments (21)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:45am Tue 1 Oct 13

notmyrealname says...

Goodbye .... you will not be missed ...
Goodbye .... you will not be missed ... notmyrealname
  • Score: 331

8:49am Tue 1 Oct 13

Buzzz Light-year says...

Byeeeeeee! :)
Byeeeeeee! :) Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: 126

8:51am Tue 1 Oct 13

chelk says...

Goodbye you will be missed pity about the attitude of some people happy that others are losing their jobs wish the staff all the best for the future, as a support worker I took clients on the wheel, they were very helpful
Goodbye you will be missed pity about the attitude of some people happy that others are losing their jobs wish the staff all the best for the future, as a support worker I took clients on the wheel, they were very helpful chelk
  • Score: 36

9:05am Tue 1 Oct 13

CHISSY1 says...

Some people just like moaning,pathetic.
Some people just like moaning,pathetic. CHISSY1
  • Score: 7

9:35am Tue 1 Oct 13

BL2 says...

Good riddance to a total eyesore!
Good riddance to a total eyesore! BL2
  • Score: 726

9:37am Tue 1 Oct 13

MrsHoney says...

I'll actually miss it. I understand people living nearby having concerns, although as far as privacy is concerned can't they just use curtains? I wasn't keen on the idea of the wheel I'll be honest but I've got used to it and kind of like the contrast between the old and the modern. As for the selfish **** who said they were happy the staff were losing their jobs, why should anyone feel sympathy for their loss of privacy with an attitude like that?!
I'll actually miss it. I understand people living nearby having concerns, although as far as privacy is concerned can't they just use curtains? I wasn't keen on the idea of the wheel I'll be honest but I've got used to it and kind of like the contrast between the old and the modern. As for the selfish **** who said they were happy the staff were losing their jobs, why should anyone feel sympathy for their loss of privacy with an attitude like that?! MrsHoney
  • Score: 30

9:41am Tue 1 Oct 13

Woody G Mellor says...

Well, I actually got so used to it that I never noticed it anymore. That said, I wouldn't of wanted it outside my home.
Well, I actually got so used to it that I never noticed it anymore. That said, I wouldn't of wanted it outside my home. Woody G Mellor
  • Score: 12

10:02am Tue 1 Oct 13

ToniMyers93 says...

I really hope permission gets granted elsewhere in York some time in the future, even if only to spite the complainers :) I'll miss it!
I really hope permission gets granted elsewhere in York some time in the future, even if only to spite the complainers :) I'll miss it! ToniMyers93
  • Score: 21

10:18am Tue 1 Oct 13

El Clinton says...

Well I for one loved it being there. I'm sure if there was a way of moving the Minster then some people would want rid of it. Lets hope it goes to a city that deserves and appreciates it.
Well I for one loved it being there. I'm sure if there was a way of moving the Minster then some people would want rid of it. Lets hope it goes to a city that deserves and appreciates it. El Clinton
  • Score: 16

1:02pm Tue 1 Oct 13

Buzzz Light-year says...

I didn't mind it once it was there. I didn't object to the idea of the wheel or consider it an eyesore or have any privacy issues.

I objected to the persistent and bullying nature of the corporation behind it coming back again and again in the face of much opposition and forcing its will on York.

So. Byeeeeee!
I didn't mind it once it was there. I didn't object to the idea of the wheel or consider it an eyesore or have any privacy issues. I objected to the persistent and bullying nature of the corporation behind it coming back again and again in the face of much opposition and forcing its will on York. So. Byeeeeee! Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: -3

1:54pm Tue 1 Oct 13

topumpire1 says...

The wrong place FULL STOP!!
The best place for the wheel, was its first home (of 3 years) at the NRM, who have said they didn't want it back & the wheel owner/ operator was not keen to try & push them because of the access problems caused at BOTH end &.
the city council could not be "bothered", The operator DID try alternative sites (North Street / Museum Gardens/plus) that all had valid reasons against that site, INCLUDING the hotel site. If the council want the wheel back again, for a more PERMANENT stay, a site must be found AND agreed by all. It is a pity that the NRM will not "play ball" as that site WAS ideal for a permanent wheel & I am sure that now the cYc would agree & have granted permanent planning permission HAD they MADE a decision (& not dithered until too late!!)
The wrong place FULL STOP!! The best place for the wheel, was its first home (of 3 years) at the NRM, who have said they didn't want it back & the wheel owner/ operator was not keen to try & push them because of the access problems caused at BOTH end &. the city council could not be "bothered", The operator DID try alternative sites (North Street / Museum Gardens/plus) that all had valid reasons against that site, INCLUDING the hotel site. If the council want the wheel back again, for a more PERMANENT stay, a site must be found AND agreed by all. It is a pity that the NRM will not "play ball" as that site WAS ideal for a permanent wheel & I am sure that now the cYc would agree & have granted permanent planning permission HAD they MADE a decision (& not dithered until too late!!) topumpire1
  • Score: 1

1:56pm Tue 1 Oct 13

meme says...

Its a shame that its going as it was another attraction for York and was an interesting addition to the skyline.
It was not noisy, attracted the right sort of people and most important cities have something like this but NIMBYS and conservation bodies in York hate any sort of change./modernity and it was always doomed...Just like the ice skating Xmas attraction
Its a shame we cannot recognise a good thing when we see it
I will miss it as most in York in general
Its a shame that its going as it was another attraction for York and was an interesting addition to the skyline. It was not noisy, attracted the right sort of people and most important cities have something like this but NIMBYS and conservation bodies in York hate any sort of change./modernity and it was always doomed...Just like the ice skating Xmas attraction Its a shame we cannot recognise a good thing when we see it I will miss it as most in York in general meme
  • Score: 14

2:18pm Tue 1 Oct 13

Woody G Mellor says...

meme wrote:
Its a shame that its going as it was another attraction for York and was an interesting addition to the skyline.
It was not noisy, attracted the right sort of people and most important cities have something like this but NIMBYS and conservation bodies in York hate any sort of change./modernity and it was always doomed...Just like the ice skating Xmas attraction
Its a shame we cannot recognise a good thing when we see it
I will miss it as most in York in general
NIMBYS? NIMBYS????? You are SO last decade.
[quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: Its a shame that its going as it was another attraction for York and was an interesting addition to the skyline. It was not noisy, attracted the right sort of people and most important cities have something like this but NIMBYS and conservation bodies in York hate any sort of change./modernity and it was always doomed...Just like the ice skating Xmas attraction Its a shame we cannot recognise a good thing when we see it I will miss it as most in York in general[/p][/quote]NIMBYS? NIMBYS????? You are SO last decade. Woody G Mellor
  • Score: 2

3:59pm Tue 1 Oct 13

YorkPatrol says...

topumpire1 wrote:
The wrong place FULL STOP!! The best place for the wheel, was its first home (of 3 years) at the NRM, who have said they didn't want it back & the wheel owner/ operator was not keen to try & push them because of the access problems caused at BOTH end &. the city council could not be "bothered", The operator DID try alternative sites (North Street / Museum Gardens/plus) that all had valid reasons against that site, INCLUDING the hotel site. If the council want the wheel back again, for a more PERMANENT stay, a site must be found AND agreed by all. It is a pity that the NRM will not "play ball" as that site WAS ideal for a permanent wheel & I am sure that now the cYc would agree & have granted permanent planning permission HAD they MADE a decision (& not dithered until too late!!)
Don't worry about it - All these CAPS and exclamation marks you’ll give yourself a coronary
[quote][p][bold]topumpire1[/bold] wrote: The wrong place FULL STOP!! The best place for the wheel, was its first home (of 3 years) at the NRM, who have said they didn't want it back & the wheel owner/ operator was not keen to try & push them because of the access problems caused at BOTH end &. the city council could not be "bothered", The operator DID try alternative sites (North Street / Museum Gardens/plus) that all had valid reasons against that site, INCLUDING the hotel site. If the council want the wheel back again, for a more PERMANENT stay, a site must be found AND agreed by all. It is a pity that the NRM will not "play ball" as that site WAS ideal for a permanent wheel & I am sure that now the cYc would agree & have granted permanent planning permission HAD they MADE a decision (& not dithered until too late!!)[/p][/quote]Don't worry about it - All these CAPS and exclamation marks you’ll give yourself a coronary YorkPatrol
  • Score: 8

4:24pm Tue 1 Oct 13

TerryYork says...

Good riddance. Stop turning York into a theme park for fat families from crap towns.
Good riddance. Stop turning York into a theme park for fat families from crap towns. TerryYork
  • Score: 397

4:55pm Tue 1 Oct 13

pjr_1984 says...

one thing that cant be denied is what else in York will now potentially attract the number of visitors the wheel has in its time in York? Granted many would of already been visiting but whether you loved it or hated it.. it gave people in the area a job and no doubt even if slightly boosted the local economy which cant be to much of a bad thing after recent times. ( Terrys going,, Nestle reduced, Carriageworks etc .. and more recently CPP/ Aviva Losing plenty of staff this last couple of years!)
one thing that cant be denied is what else in York will now potentially attract the number of visitors the wheel has in its time in York? Granted many would of already been visiting but whether you loved it or hated it.. it gave people in the area a job and no doubt even if slightly boosted the local economy which cant be to much of a bad thing after recent times. ( Terrys going,, Nestle reduced, Carriageworks etc .. and more recently CPP/ Aviva Losing plenty of staff this last couple of years!) pjr_1984
  • Score: 1

5:47pm Tue 1 Oct 13

nearlyman says...

This will be the wheel who's operators went into administration in juiy /august last year owing York, amongst others thousands of pounds ? I'm sure they will not miss it. Probablly was an extravagant con all along.....if not, where else in Yorkshire has the tourist draw, that York (who could not make it pay) has, that is going to make an equally lucrative site for it ?..........I see more administrators being kept in work.
This will be the wheel who's operators went into administration in juiy /august last year owing York, amongst others thousands of pounds ? I'm sure they will not miss it. Probablly was an extravagant con all along.....if not, where else in Yorkshire has the tourist draw, that York (who could not make it pay) has, that is going to make an equally lucrative site for it ?..........I see more administrators being kept in work. nearlyman
  • Score: 2

5:54pm Tue 1 Oct 13

TERRIER3 says...

Dont hear them moaning about the wheel in London or manchester? i think its a Yorkshire thing MOANING, if the wheel does come back i hope they put it outside that t**ts house who said he was glad the staff were losing their jobs
Dont hear them moaning about the wheel in London or manchester? i think its a Yorkshire thing MOANING, if the wheel does come back i hope they put it outside that t**ts house who said he was glad the staff were losing their jobs TERRIER3
  • Score: 4

9:21pm Tue 1 Oct 13

twigger says...

Well don't worry because after two/four years, numerous debates, several choices of placement, it will be back. Why didn't they just buy them all Venetian blinds. Yorks sad loss even though, I must admit, I never got the chance to go on it!!
Well don't worry because after two/four years, numerous debates, several choices of placement, it will be back. Why didn't they just buy them all Venetian blinds. Yorks sad loss even though, I must admit, I never got the chance to go on it!! twigger
  • Score: 3

2:29pm Wed 2 Oct 13

hirsty says...

I liked the Wheel, enjoyed going on it & thought it added something new to the city for our visitors (who also spent money in other places) - I'm sorry that it's going.
I liked the Wheel, enjoyed going on it & thought it added something new to the city for our visitors (who also spent money in other places) - I'm sorry that it's going. hirsty
  • Score: 3

3:35pm Wed 2 Oct 13

TERRIER3 says...

hirsty wrote:
I liked the Wheel, enjoyed going on it & thought it added something new to the city for our visitors (who also spent money in other places) - I'm sorry that it's going.
yes some people dont seem to realise that the more tourists that come here then the more money is spents in the city, without the tourists, there would be tumbleweed blowing down the streets, thousands who work in the tourist trade would be out of work and the city would die
[quote][p][bold]hirsty[/bold] wrote: I liked the Wheel, enjoyed going on it & thought it added something new to the city for our visitors (who also spent money in other places) - I'm sorry that it's going.[/p][/quote]yes some people dont seem to realise that the more tourists that come here then the more money is spents in the city, without the tourists, there would be tumbleweed blowing down the streets, thousands who work in the tourist trade would be out of work and the city would die TERRIER3
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree