BIG wheel operators have held talks with York council chiefs, and say they are still committed to bringing a wheel back to the city.

World Tourist Attractions (WTA) director Elliott Hall met with City of York Council leader Andrew Waller and his predecessor Steve Galloway, to discuss plans for the attraction.

WTA had wanted to site a wheel in North Street gardens, next to the Park Inn Hotel, but the council executive thwarted that plan last month. The council owns the land and said it was unsuitable for a wheel. The previous one, at the National Railway Museum, was dismantled in November after two-and-a-half years.

Both parties said the talks had gone well and different possible sites had been discussed, but neither side would say yet what they were.

Coun Waller said: “There is more than one possibility but it is early days and it is a sensitive issue.

“The next step is for WTA to come forward with proposals.

“They have to look at viable locations and come back to us with their own views. There is not a date by which that must happen, but it is there to progress.”

WTA spokesman Jay Pender said: “We can confirm that we have opened dialogue with the council about alternative sites other than North Street gardens.”

Nigel Ward, the firm’s chief executive, said previously that North Street was the only option, but Mr Pender said that comment had been misconstrued, and had never been the company’s stance.

Tourism groups had called for the wheel to be allowed in North Street, but the idea was strongly opposed by the city’s conservation organisations.

When it was debated at Guildhall last month, it sparked a rare split within the council executive, with leisure and culture spokesman Christian Vassie breaking ranks with his party.