Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cable car for Mount Wellington

On our trip to Switzerland in June we went on five different cable cars. Add to that several funiculars and chairlifts and many rack railways. We even went on a cable car that is "self-drive", quite a little adventure for us. It departs from a shed, takes a maximum of four people and has no operator - instead, there are instructions on the wall for how to operate it. Close door, wait for bell to ring, press button twice... that kind of thing. The Swiss sure know how to transport people, livestock and materials into steep and high places. Every town seems to have either a funicular or a cable car or both. They are either primarily for tourists or simply part of the local public transport network.

Although I'm not sure if the volume of visitors warrants it, or how it would be funded, I am having some trouble understanding the objections to the idea of having a cable car going up Mount Wellington in Hobart. I would have a problem with any proposal that means more cars on the mountain, such as increased parking, a new or wider road or a hotel at the top. It was actually pretty hard to spot most of the Swiss ones from from a short distance away, so the 'great scar on the landscape' argument doesn't hold water. They do use power of course, but otherwise the environmental impact seems to be low. And it's such a peaceful way to travel.

Last time I flew into Hobart, the view of a snow-capped Mount Wellington in the sun was stunning. I reckon if more people can experience the beauty of Hobart from the top it would be a good thing. Aside from the tourists, I think it would be a popular option for people who want to go up the the top and walk or mountain bike down or take the kids to play in the snow. Maybe, like some Swiss ski resorts, Mount Wellington could even become car-free? If you're interested in following the progress of the Mount Wellington cable car proposal, sign up to this Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. Cable cars are great fun.
    They are a little bit scary but in reality safer than many other forms of transport (especially since we don't have much air traffic in the area).
    I'd love to see one running up to Mt Wellie at a reasonable cost.
    Who is going to pay for it to be built in the first place?
    David Walsh ;-)