Riverside location opposed by conservation groups

York Press: The Yorkshire Wheel should stay where it is say conservationists in York The Yorkshire Wheel should stay where it is say conservationists in York

CONSERVATIONISTS have opposed plans to move York’s big wheel to a riverside location in the city centre.

Representatives of both York Conservation Trust and York Civic Trust voiced concern over the possibility of the Yorkshire Wheel moving from the National Railway Museum to the gardens in North Street.

The concerns were raised as John Lowry, senior operations manager for World Tourist Attractions, confirmed the company intended moving the wheel when the current planning permission at the museum runs out next January.

He said the company hoped to submit a planning application for the North Street site – which would give the wheel a riverside location like that enjoyed by the London Eye – within four weeks.

But Philip Thake, chief executive of the conservation trust, said: “I think it would spoil the riverside frontage there.

“Our river is not as big as the Thames, and we have not got the vast buildings London has got.”

He said Norwich Union may also be unhappy with the wheel being so near its office, and the trust itself would have concerns over the loss of views from some of its buildings in North Street. He said York should use its river frontage more, and Mr Thake called for a walkway between Lendal Bridge and Ouse Bridge, but said putting the wheel next to the river would spoil views to the back of the Guildhall.

Peter Brown, secretary of the civic trust, said: “To compare it with the London Eye being opposite the Houses of Parliament is a bit mischievous, because that’s about 200 metres away and our river is really narrow. It would be overpowering and have a domineering effect on the whole environment.”

He said the civic trust had been happy to accept the wheel in its current location, and thought its “technological nature” made the NRM a logical choice of venue.

Conservative leader Ian Gillies, who is also a director of tourism body Visit York, said the wheel had been good for York, and he hoped it would stay somewhere in the city.

He said: “I would support them if they found an appropriate site. It has become a distinctive part of the city’s skyline and if they find an appropriate site, I would support it.”

The wheel opened at the museum in April 2006.

Comments (19)

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10:05am Thu 28 Aug 08

robodog says...

What's the case for keeping this wheel at all?

A good experience? People might be a little disappointed if they expect an experience on par to the London Eye. The wheel is cramped, wobbly, moves too quickly... it's just an overpriced fairground wheel.

Good for tourism? Are we really deluded enough to think that York, the jewel in the tourism Norths crown, needs a gigantic wheel to concrete its position, or that it's remotely appropriate to the themes of Roman and Vikings?

Good for the economy? As stated above, I think York's tourist economy is not helped by this, in fact, monolithic attractions like this take money and attention from the diverse range of independent entertainers, establishments and attractions that litter the town.

'Iconic'? As much as the branding tries to delude us otherwise, there are IDENTICAL wheels springing up in cities all over England, including Manchester and Birmingham.

The very thought of this wheel now destroying the tranquil riverside oasis that sits between Lendal Bridge and the Moat House hotel is outrageous.

For the reasons stated above, this wheel adds no value to the city, and we should be waving goodbye to it once the three years we've given John Lowry and World Tourist Attractions to rip off our steady stream of bright-eyed tourists with a over-hyped lacklustre attraction are over.
What's the case for keeping this wheel at all? A good experience? People might be a little disappointed if they expect an experience on par to the London Eye. The wheel is cramped, wobbly, moves too quickly... it's just an overpriced fairground wheel. Good for tourism? Are we really deluded enough to think that York, the jewel in the tourism Norths crown, needs a gigantic wheel to concrete its position, or that it's remotely appropriate to the themes of Roman and Vikings? Good for the economy? As stated above, I think York's tourist economy is not helped by this, in fact, monolithic attractions like this take money and attention from the diverse range of independent entertainers, establishments and attractions that litter the town. 'Iconic'? As much as the branding tries to delude us otherwise, there are IDENTICAL wheels springing up in cities all over England, including Manchester and Birmingham. The very thought of this wheel now destroying the tranquil riverside oasis that sits between Lendal Bridge and the Moat House hotel is outrageous. For the reasons stated above, this wheel adds no value to the city, and we should be waving goodbye to it once the three years we've given John Lowry and World Tourist Attractions to rip off our steady stream of bright-eyed tourists with a over-hyped lacklustre attraction are over. robodog
  • Score: 0

10:38am Thu 28 Aug 08

meme says...

What a suprise that they have objected.
its something modern and that cannot be allowed in the City at all
Its something that may create more traffic in the area and thats not on so lets stop it
Its something different and thats not acceptible either.
It might spoil the view of the back of the Guildhall but as it might lets object to it anyway
Some of our older buildings might be affected temporarily by its presence so lets ban it
NU may not be happy but has anyone asked them? Probably not but lets object anyway as we hate any form of change
Frankly I despair sometimes about the people who want York preserved in aspic
What a suprise that they have objected. its something modern and that cannot be allowed in the City at all Its something that may create more traffic in the area and thats not on so lets stop it Its something different and thats not acceptible either. It might spoil the view of the back of the Guildhall [actually it may enhance it] but as it might lets object to it anyway Some of our older buildings might be affected temporarily by its presence so lets ban it NU may not be happy [despite the fact they sponsored it] but has anyone asked them? Probably not but lets object anyway as we hate any form of change Frankly I despair sometimes about the people who want York preserved in aspic meme
  • Score: 0

10:47am Thu 28 Aug 08

mc.mikey says...

If everytime something had been built in our city"s past, had been opposed with conservationists then we would"nt have the city we have today ,although i understand we have to protect the past it really is time to embrace the future! Coppergate 2 or should i say the lack of it..have a walk on piccadilly need i say any more !
If everytime something had been built in our city"s past, had been opposed with conservationists then we would"nt have the city we have today ,although i understand we have to protect the past it really is time to embrace the future! Coppergate 2 or should i say the lack of it..have a walk on piccadilly need i say any more ! mc.mikey
  • Score: 0

11:11am Thu 28 Aug 08

mztripps says...

I agree that the upgrade to Piccadilly is probably the most urgent development in York, however, the wheel on the riverside near NU is a massive mistake. What is wrong with the riverside next to/opposite Museum Gardens? Keep all the tourists in one place and make the access & parking easier for all as there is Marygate Carpark close by.
I agree that the upgrade to Piccadilly is probably the most urgent development in York, however, the wheel on the riverside near NU is a massive mistake. What is wrong with the riverside next to/opposite Museum Gardens? Keep all the tourists in one place and make the access & parking easier for all as there is Marygate Carpark close by. mztripps
  • Score: 0

11:22am Thu 28 Aug 08

Grumpy Old Man says...

North Street seems an ideal site for the wheel. Anything that hides that monstrosity of a Norwich Union building is to be welcomed.
North Street seems an ideal site for the wheel. Anything that hides that monstrosity of a Norwich Union building is to be welcomed. Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

11:34am Thu 28 Aug 08

Jassy says...

and that nasty block with the hotel and Argos, I mean, how could you ruin the riverside any more whilst that still stands?
and that nasty block with the hotel and Argos, I mean, how could you ruin the riverside any more whilst that still stands? Jassy
  • Score: 0

11:37am Thu 28 Aug 08

BigJon says...

Personally I think that if the wheel is to stay then it should remain where it is.

If it is moved to North Street how will it be secured from all the late night 'revellers'? 6ft high fences built all round the park? And how about parking for visitors?

What new views would be gained by moving it to a new location?

The museum site seems ideally suited for such an attraction - a tecnological ride for a technological museum.

If the owners want extended opening hours outside those of the museum's then surely it would be possible to add a seperate entrance onto Leeman Road so the users wouldn't have to go through the museum to get to the wheel.

The railway museum attracts thousands of visitors and so provides a ready made customer base. How many people would go out of their way just to ride the wheel if it was a stand-alone attraction?
Personally I think that if the wheel is to stay then it should remain where it is. If it is moved to North Street how will it be secured from all the late night 'revellers'? 6ft high fences built all round the park? And how about parking for visitors? What new views would be gained by moving it to a new location? The museum site seems ideally suited for such an attraction - a tecnological ride for a technological museum. If the owners want extended opening hours outside those of the museum's then surely it would be possible to add a seperate entrance onto Leeman Road so the users wouldn't have to go through the museum to get to the wheel. The railway museum attracts thousands of visitors and so provides a ready made customer base. How many people would go out of their way just to ride the wheel if it was a stand-alone attraction? BigJon
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Thu 28 Aug 08

MrsHoney says...

There is progress and there is becoming a clone of every other city in Britain. I moved down here over 20 years ago and in that time York has lost a lot of it's individualism. It is not far off being one of those 'you could be anywhere' kind of places. Progress is good if it actually improves things but how is sticking a great big wheel in what is a tiny space, by a riverside lined with historic buildings an improvement?! Norwich Union did a reasonable job I thought with trying to design a building that would fit in with the rest of the riverside architecture, I don't really see how it's a monstrosity. But that's besides the point. Go and live in Leeds if you like to live in Blandsville.
There is progress and there is becoming a clone of every other city in Britain. I moved down here over 20 years ago and in that time York has lost a lot of it's individualism. It is not far off being one of those 'you could be anywhere' kind of places. Progress is good if it actually improves things but how is sticking a great big wheel in what is a tiny space, by a riverside lined with historic buildings an improvement?! Norwich Union did a reasonable job I thought with trying to design a building that would fit in with the rest of the riverside architecture, I don't really see how it's a monstrosity. But that's besides the point. Go and live in Leeds if you like to live in Blandsville. MrsHoney
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Thu 28 Aug 08

King of the Gypsies says...

I cant see how Norwich Union would oppose it. Dont they sponsor the thing anyway?
I cant see how Norwich Union would oppose it. Dont they sponsor the thing anyway? King of the Gypsies
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Thu 28 Aug 08

Dr D says...

King of the Gypsies, No they do not sponsor it. They did for a year.
Big John has the correct answers
King of the Gypsies, No they do not sponsor it. They did for a year. Big John has the correct answers Dr D
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Thu 28 Aug 08

MarkyMarkMark says...

And what about access to the riverside gardens or the walkway for the people who use them already? (Apart from the rodents in the bushes, I mean!)

It's a little riverside oasis as someone has mentioned - good for a 5 minute think away from the office!

Yes, it could be nicer, but making it inaccessible to the people of the city isn't the way to do it.
And what about access to the riverside gardens or the walkway for the people who use them already? (Apart from the rodents in the bushes, I mean!) It's a little riverside oasis as someone has mentioned - good for a 5 minute think away from the office! Yes, it could be nicer, but making it inaccessible to the people of the city isn't the way to do it. MarkyMarkMark
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Thu 28 Aug 08

mpdodds says...

If they want a riverside location for the thing why not put it down past York Rowing club's boat house? It wouldn't be blocking anyone's view and it would be opposite the museum gardens.

Plus they wouldn't have to move it very far!
(just a thought)
If they want a riverside location for the thing why not put it down past York Rowing club's boat house? It wouldn't be blocking anyone's view and it would be opposite the museum gardens. Plus they wouldn't have to move it very far! (just a thought) mpdodds
  • Score: 0

2:16pm Thu 28 Aug 08

hustler says...

Big Jon definately has the right idea in my opinion. Leave it where it is for all the reasons he mentioned.

I have been on the wheel (last year) and enjoyed the experience. The views of York and the surrounding area were excellent from the NRM, no need to move it into the city centre.
Big Jon definately has the right idea in my opinion. Leave it where it is for all the reasons he mentioned. I have been on the wheel (last year) and enjoyed the experience. The views of York and the surrounding area were excellent from the NRM, no need to move it into the city centre. hustler
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Thu 28 Aug 08

richieyork says...

I'm with Jassy on this - anything to distract from the ugly building that is the Park Inn (Moat House) has to be welcome. That said, I see it (Park Inn) has scaffolding around it - are they gonna stone-clad it to match the NU building??!!!
I'm with Jassy on this - anything to distract from the ugly building that is the Park Inn (Moat House) has to be welcome. That said, I see it (Park Inn) has scaffolding around it - are they gonna stone-clad it to match the NU building??!!! richieyork
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Thu 28 Aug 08

petethefeet says...

Why is it that a City of such heritage thinks it has to turn itself into a fair-ground. If it's 'bling' that you want then goto Disneyland, or Blackpool, or Alton Towers. York, first and foremost, is the home of the people of York. It's high-time the idiots that run this City realised that, and don't try to sh@g it for every penny that it's worth. Get rid of the wheel and get rid of that thomas-the-tank-engi
ne bendy-tram that runs from the Railway museum.
Why is it that a City of such heritage thinks it has to turn itself into a fair-ground. If it's 'bling' that you want then goto Disneyland, or Blackpool, or Alton Towers. York, first and foremost, is the home of the people of York. It's high-time the idiots that run this City realised that, and don't try to sh@g it for every penny that it's worth. Get rid of the wheel and get rid of that thomas-the-tank-engi ne bendy-tram that runs from the Railway museum. petethefeet
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Thu 28 Aug 08

curlywurly says...

I've lived in York all my life and not even been on it! At the end of the day they'll stick it where they want. What we say won't make a difference...
I've lived in York all my life and not even been on it! At the end of the day they'll stick it where they want. What we say won't make a difference... curlywurly
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Thu 28 Aug 08

lastword morris says...

I am out of York quite a few times and used to love approaching the city from Wigginton. The splendid view of York Minster and I knew I was home in 5 mins....I HATE seeing this piece of junk on the skyline and it should be taken out to sea and dumped.
I am out of York quite a few times and used to love approaching the city from Wigginton. The splendid view of York Minster and I knew I was home in 5 mins....I HATE seeing this piece of junk on the skyline and it should be taken out to sea and dumped. lastword morris
  • Score: 0

8:37am Fri 29 Aug 08

BigJon says...

Another thought about the new proposed location.

At present the wheel is surrounded by low buildings, meaning that when you ride it you have a great view in all directions for about 90% of the time.

In the North Street location it will have a hotel on one side, the Norwich Union building on another, and the offices along Rougier Street fairly close by on a third side. Won't this combination severly limit the view on the lower sections of the ride and thereby make it much less of an attraction?
Another thought about the new proposed location. At present the wheel is surrounded by low buildings, meaning that when you ride it you have a great view in all directions for about 90% of the time. In the North Street location it will have a hotel on one side, the Norwich Union building on another, and the offices along Rougier Street fairly close by on a third side. Won't this combination severly limit the view on the lower sections of the ride and thereby make it much less of an attraction? BigJon
  • Score: 0

9:12am Sat 30 Aug 08

Chris York Born&Bred says...

Stick it in rowntrees park.!!!!
Stick it in rowntrees park.!!!! Chris York Born&Bred
  • Score: 0
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