The Brighton Wheel was synonymous with Brighton tourism. Located next to Brighton Pier it was the perfect way to take in your surroundings and established Brighton as one of the most fun and energetic cities, up there with London and other tourist towns with a similar wheel.
In May of this year the Brighton Wheel stopped spinning after proposals to keep it open were rejected by the council ahead of the i360. It was thought to be ‘detrimental’ to the city, the city that it looked over for years previously. Tourists flocked to take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel, it was 12 minutes of elevation as you were taken into the sky and back down again.
Today, the Brighton Wheel’s replacement undertook a test drive where it rose higher than it has before, climbing about a quarter of the way up the rig. The infamous ‘i360’ will cost a reported £46.2M and is due to open later this summer, although details of the opening are subject to change as they always have been.
It claims to be the first vertical cable car, and boasts the backing of British Airways. However, many Brightonians are concerned with the appearance of the structure and are questioning it’s potential.
The physics and architectural significance of the structure are not impressing everyone as many Brighton locals are disappointed with the structure and feel it looks out of place in Brighton. With its placement just yards away from the historic west pier it is hard not to draw comparisons between the two structures, with many questioning whether the the i360 will stand the test of time in the same way that the pier has – half of the pier anyway.
Despite the appearance, the i360 claims it will generate up to 440 new jobs which is 13 times those that the Brighton Wheel provided. The project is also predicting that it will attract 700,000 customers per year which would benefit the economy in Brighton. The question remains however over how necessary the update is, with many arguing that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
So, there you have it. Eyesore or lifesaver, what do you think?