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London Eye-style ferris wheel opens on Parker’s Piece in Cambridge



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A huge London Eye-style ferris wheel has been built on Parker’s Piece and promises to offer stunning skyline views over Cambridge.

Bronson Thurston with the ferris wheel on Parker's Piece, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell. (47462473)
Bronson Thurston with the ferris wheel on Parker's Piece, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell. (47462473)

The City View Wheel stands 36 metres tall (118 feet) and has 24 gondolas, one of which is a VIP booth that will offer Champagne and leather seats.

The wheel’s construction was set to be completed this week. It opened on May 22 and while tickets can be bought on the day it is possible to pre-book places via the company’s website to save long queues.

Bronson Thurston, one of the directors of the City View Wheel Company, said: “We chose Cambridge as a location because it is flat and offers great views. On a clear day you should easily be able to see as far as Ely Cathedral.

“Bringing this to the city has been delayed because of the pandemic but we think it offers a great experience and we’re hoping it will be popular with tourists when they start coming back.

Bronson Thurston with the ferris wheel on Parker's Piece, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell. (47462501)
Bronson Thurston with the ferris wheel on Parker's Piece, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell. (47462501)

“It was constructed in Turkey and has been brought over to be built here. We anticipate it will be open until October this year and will run every year from springtime for the next five years. We are still waiting for planning permission to be finalised but we have 56 days for that process to be completed with the city council.

“We do have experience working in Cambridge as a business as we are currently running a fairground on Jesus Green.”

A spokesperson for Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service said: “There has been a planning application sent into the council for the wheel to be on Parker’s Piece until October 31. However, under permitted development rights it is allowed to erect a moveable temporary structure, such as the ferris wheel, for a period of 56 days from the start of construction. After that, if planning permission has not been approved, they will have to take the structure down.

Bronson Thurston with the ferris wheel on Parker's Piece, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell. (47462475)
Bronson Thurston with the ferris wheel on Parker's Piece, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell. (47462475)

“Unfortunately we have been dealing with a six-week backlog of planning applications so the consultation with residents has only just started and will end on May 26.”

Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “I don’t want to pre-judge any planning decision but given that we have had to cancel all events on Parker’s Piece this year, including the Big Weekend, due to Covid-19 restrictions this may be something for people to enjoy. I have often thought that Cambridge could benefit from a big wheel, in the style of the London Eye, perhaps in a location on the edge of the city. I’m sure many local businesses will welcome the wheel if it brings people to the area.”

The wheel will be open from 11am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday, and tickets are priced £6 for adults, £5 for kids and £20 for a family of four.

To book tickets, visit cityviewwheel.co.uk.

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