URS and Arup work on plan for five-mile cable car system in Cardiff

Cardiff Business Council (CBC) has appointed American engineer URS and UK consulting engineer Arup to work on a feasibility study for a £100m "transformational" cable car route linking Cardiff Bay with the city centre.  

The three-month study will investigate the costs, route and potential passenger numbers of the five mile-long scheme. 

Nigel Roberts, the chairman of CBC, told BBC Wales that the link would carry 2,500 tourists and commuters an hour and would cost $30m a mile to build. 

"The great thing about Cardiff Bay is that when you get up into the air you can get a phenomenal view," he said, adding it would be a "sustainable public transport method". 

The CBC said the scheme could be funded from the Welsh transport budget and supplemented by the private sector. 

Roberts also suggested that money may be available through the City Deal, a measure designed to help the Welsh economy grow, which Chancellor George Osborne announced in his recent Budget. 

The UK has only one other urban cable car system, the east London "Emirates Air Line" that runs from the Greenwich peninsula to Silvertown (pictured).  

This line was to have cost £25m but came in at £63m. That project depended on funding from the United Arab Emirates of £36m but taxpayers are liable to about £19m if revenues fall below a certain figure. One estimate in 2013 puts losses at £50,000 a week.

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