Plans for new monorail system at an ‘early stage’

PUBLISHED: 05:47 01 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:37 01 April 2018

An artist's impression of how the monorail system would look.

An artist's impression of how the monorail system would look.

April Fool

The first artist impression of a new monorail system connecting Weston-super-Mare with Wales has been revealed.

Michelle Michael on the Grand Pier.Michelle Michael on the Grand Pier.

Stations to span the Severn Estuary are planned at the Grand Pier and Cardiff’s Mermaid Quay.

Michelle Michael, co-owner of the Grand Pier, said the idea came about when visitors to the pier were recently overheard talking about when the White Funnel fleet of paddle steamers linked Weston to Wales directly until 1981.

She said: “We know people get nostalgic about their trips across the channel, and thought it would be great to come up with a modern, 21st century, way for a new generation to follow in the footsteps of their grandparents, in order to make some special memories of their own.

“There would be no need to find petrol money, no bridge tolls, no scrabbling around to find a parking space, and no need to pay parking fees.

“People can travel swiftly, smoothly, safely and stress-free, even just for half a day as it only takes 30 minutes.

“With the monorails being electric, they’re much kinder to the environment, too, allowing people to travel further afield without expanding their carbon footprint.”

The trains would be able to do 40mph and could take 360 passengers at any one time.

Planning permission though would be needed before the monorail system could be built.

Michelle added: “We’re very excited about this idea but it’s very early days. We’ve yet to consult with planning authorities on either side of the channel.

“We need to research how we can stabilise the supporting columns, and also work out how high the track will have to go in order to avoid the shipping in the channel. But in principle, it’s a great idea. Clean, green, swift and safe.

“What a great way to start a fun day out, streaking through the air, high above the water, in comfort and style – a completely stress-free start to a great day, meaning you’ve got all your energy left to enjoy all the many attractions on the Grand Pier when you arrive.”

The scheme bears similarities to the old steamers which brought people from Wales to Birnbeck Pier and the hovercraft services which operated in the 1960s.

In 1963, a hovercraft between Weston and Penarth was trialled.In 1963, a hovercraft between Weston and Penarth was trialled.

The hovercraft idea never caught on.The hovercraft idea never caught on.

* Do you like the idea? Let us know your thoughts by emailing newsdesk@westonmercury.co.uk

UPDATE (12.01pm): The plans were scrapped at lunchtime on April 1...

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