Postcard from... Granada


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The Independent Online

Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountain range is famous for hosting Europe’s most southerly ski station, and its pistes being just an hour from the Mediterranean’s beaches have always proved an extra draw. The downside? Traffic jams at peak hours clogging the winding 30km drive up from Granada, the nearest city.

Now, though, a projected cable car running from outside Granada Football Ground up to the Pradollano ski station 1,500m above – roughly the total height of Ben Nevis – could, its promoters say, both ease those traffic problems.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the cable car line covering the longest distance in the world is in Ba Na Hills, Vietnam, at 5,801m a mere third of the length of the Granada project.

First projected in 2006, for years the cable car plans have been both blocked by the Andalusian government and met with opposition from local ecologists, the former pointing out that Sierra Nevada is a natural park and Unesco biosphere reserve.

However, last week a regional court verdict ruled that the local government’s opposition was invalid, which puts the cable car project back on track. Now, though, private companies must tackle the next challenge: the estimated €170m (£142m) build cost.