WHEN the history of naive and over-optimistic decisions by local councillors comes to be written, it will be hard to find one more ill-judged than Brighton Council's decision to bankroll the i360.

Blinded by the success of the London Eye, the council stumped up £36 million to get

the project off the ground without apparently considering why no commercial

enterprise was willing to finance it.

The London Eye relies on a much greater flow of tourists continually stepping on to the wheel, unlike the i360, which would need the 200-people capacity pod to be full for almost

every "flight" - never achieved - to make money. It was thought local people would be regular customers - but having taken one trip, why would anyone want to repeat the experience? Even without the double whammy of Covid, the thing would still be losing money.

Now owed nearly £43 million - and counting - with no hope of the money ever being repaid, it is time for the council to consider realistic options for getting out of the hole it has dug for itself.

British Airways sponsorship is due to end later this year. Will any respectable company be willing to step in to replace BA? No. Who would want to be involved with such an obviously failing enterprise?

The council must face the hard fact that the i360 has never made a profit and never will make a profit and thus it will never get its money back.

The pod goes forlornly up and down every day with no more than a handful of customers on board, haemorrhaging cash with every so-called "flight".

It is time to close it down and cut further losses.

Russell Miller

Arundel Terrace