display | more...
The second-biggest indoor shopping mall in Great Britain, located in the Dudley Metropolitan Borough in the Black Country part of the West Midlands, in the glassblowing and ceramics hotbed near Brierley Hill. (About halfway between Birmingham and Wolverhampton)...and Centro is planning to extend the Metro tram service to Merry Hill by around 2005.

Known for its monorail system connecting the mall to a nearby office park and car parks as well as satellite shopping centers. The monorail, fully built and with cars installed, hasn't worked since about a week after it opened...prompting speculation that it inspired The Simpsons monorail episode.

Built on the site of the Round Oak steel mill which closed forever in 1980, this developmenmt, combined with "The Waterfront" business and office parks represent what the local council refers to as "the most vibrant, dynamic and powerful economic force within Dudley Borough and arguably the Black Country". But the shopgirls' and trolley-porters' wages are lower than the steelworkers' used to be...

It's six months after the first writeup, and the Merry Hill Monorail is now in the process of being deconstructed, and the monorail stations are all being demolished. The original problem with the Monorail was that, while it was fun for five minutes it was slow, and it didn't actually go anywhere useful. There were three stations:

1. Inside the Merry Hill center itself.
2. Outside the row of (mostly) electrical retailers detached from the main centre.
3. A car park near the Waterfront, where hideously expensive pubs serve local businesses which can afford the expensive rent. (Telewest Communcations is one, the government tax office is another!)

Back when Merry Hill first opened, the Waterfront car park was hardly ever used, so only the first two stops were of any particular interest.

However, the walk between the first two stations would take around 5 minutes, and walking from the second to the third would take perhaps 15 minutes.

This, combined with the fact that a large percentage (I have no actual figures) of people arrive at Merry Hill by car made the monorail pretty redundant.

Ironically parking the car is much more of a problem today, so it's now quite common to see the Waterfront carpark completely full. The monorail would've been perfect for people who have to park this far away!

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.