“HANDS OFF OUR HILLS!”
A small group of businessmen calling themselves ‘Malvern for All” (MFA Ltd) are planning to construct a cable car, and associated buildings, on the hills. Voice of the Malvern Hills is currently campaigning against the proposals of Malvern For All Ltd. We have created a group on Facebook, specifically for this campaign, which is called ‘Voice of the Malvern Hills – Opposition to Cable Car Project’.
Here are our reasons for opposing the plans of Malvern For All Ltd:
Image taken near to the site of proposed upper station below Worcestershire Beacon. Photo by Christopher Turner.
1. Legal reasons
The Malvern Hills Conservators are the custodians of the hills and their remit is controlled by Acts of Parliament. These Acts preclude building on the hills. Therefore no construction can begin under current legislation. However MFA Ltd want to change the law so that the cable car and associated buildings can be built. If the cable car project is allowed to go ahead it would open the way for more commercial development on the hills.
2. Financial considerations
The MFA Ltd business plan is not audited. It is full of holes with figures appearing from nowhere and with no money in the company to do anything or pay anyone – other than £3 if or when the company goes bust.
MFA Ltd think they can build a cable car for £4 million, even though the cost of the recently constructed cable car in London was £60 million (more than double the original estimate).
If the project fails we will be left with a large blot on the landscape.
3. Environmental impact
The cable car will stick out like a sore thumb below Worcestershire Beacon – the highest point in the Malvern Hills.
During construction the cable car project will cause traffic congestion
and will damage precious geological and archaeological sites.
If the cable car goes ahead there will be 2,000 extra people on the hills each day. All those extra feet will cause dramatic erosion and damage to fragile plant life.
View from west side of North Hill looking north-west. Photo by Christopher Turner.
4. Possible adverse effect on traders
MFA Ltd is suggesting the cable car would transform the economy of Great Malvern. We believe the cable car project will damage many businesses in Great Malvern. Plans for cafes and gift shops in the upper station of the cable car are bound to take trade away from the town centre. Shoppers will be faced with gridlock as day-trippers fight for parking places.
Walkers who come to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of Malvern and the hills will go elsewhere.
5. Parking and congestion
MFA Ltd is playing down the huge parking problems which will be created by their scheme. There is only parking for coaches and disabled people in their plans. As a result most visitors will have to struggle to find parking in or near the town, followed by a long walk to reach the cable car.
If extra parking has to be built, MFA Ltd seems to assume that others will foot the bill, presumably tax payers.
6. Alternative strategies for people with disabilities
MFA Ltd is shamefully using disability as a pretext for their commercial exploitation of the hills. Despite claiming that the cable car will help the disabled their financial plans provide no concessions for the disabled. The charity ‘Disabled Ramblers’ opposes the cable car scheme as their members are able to access the hills with suitable mobility scooters. We do support the idea of providing suitable vehicles that disabled visitors to the hills can use. We support the idea of providing suitable vehicles that disabled visitors to the hills can use, which can provide them with far greater access to the hills than any cable car could ever achieve, and at a far lower cost.
Join us in saying “Hands of our Hills!” Join Voice of the Malvern Hills and make our voices even louder. Membership is not restricted to residents of the Malvern Hills but is open to anyone who supports our aims and objectives.