A MULTI-million pound cable car system in Ebbw Vale which only opened last Wednesday has already spent one day shut and was closed briefly earlier today.

The £2.5 million European Union-funded funicular which links Ebbw Vale's town square to The Works took one year to build. But two separate incidents, one of teenagers kicking its cars’ doors out of alignment and then others climbing on a security fence, closed it last Friday.

It is operated by Blaenau Gwent council, forming a part of the town's regeneration project, and a spokesman said a minor technical problem had closed it again for 10 minutes today.

A Gwent Police spokeswoman said nothing had been reported to them.

The cab has capacity for 19 adults and the 40 metre journey takes about 20 seconds. It is open from 7am until 7pm daily.

And Cllr Mostyn Lewis, whose Ebbw Vale South ward includes the cable car system, said because of the vandalism it had been agreed an engineer would ride on every journey until the end of the present school year.

He said: “Let’s give it a chance. If it is abused then they will close it and then the general public and the majority will suffer.”

And he added of the project itself: “I think it is a wonderful thing for the borough. It all came through the European Union and Welsh Government funding. It is something needed for the regeneration of Ebbw Vale and the beauty of it is you can get up into the town.

“I’m all for it. I have been since it was first suggested.”

A Blaenau Gwent council spokesman said: “The cableway has been open for just over one week. Given the complexity of the facility, owing to the many safety features and controls, there have been some minor issues relating to the mechanical and electrical aspects of the cableway.

“To date there have been two separate occasions where user behaviour has caused the cableway to shut down. The first occasion triggered the peripheral security sensors of the site, and the second occasion disrupted the cabin door controls.

“The shutdowns have all been rectified within a short timescale; it usually takes one to two hours to safely put the cableway back into service.”

The First Minister Carwyn Jones took his own trip on the funicular last Thursday after he officially opened Ebbw Vale’s £11.5 million railway station.