YORK will have to wait until next year to take a spin on the big wheel. Many families will be saddened to learn that the revolutionary attraction is not for turning in 2005.

Possibly more disappointed are city tourist bosses. After the brilliant success of Ascot, the arrival of the York Eye would have kept the summer's momentum rolling nicely.

No one can put a figure on the benefits to our tourist trade from an observation wheel. But it would not be wild speculation to suggest the extra revenue generated could be in the millions.

In other cities, most notably in London, Ferris wheels have proved real money spinners. Birmingham was so delighted it decided to make its wheel a permanent fixture. Traders in Manchester are lobbying for the return of their version because it boosted business.

We are delighted that the York Eye has not been ditched, merely delayed. World Tourist Attractions plan to bring it to the city next Easter.

By then, we hope all of York has come round to the idea. True, the original site, Tower Gardens, was not right. But those who argued that the 170ft-high structure was inappropriate for historic York would struggle to pursue this argument now the plan is to pivot it on Leeman Road. The history of this area is bound up in locomotion.

Next year, the wheel should propel York's tourism potential to dizzy new heights.

Updated: 10:50 Wednesday, July 06, 2005