Cable car becomes Emirates Air Line

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Boris Johnson announced this morning the Thames Cable Car linking North Greenwich with Royal Docks would be rebranded Emirates Air Line as part of a sponsorship deal.

The Mayor of London said the link could open next summer but refused to guarantee the £59million project would be ready in time for the Olympics.

The 10-year sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines is worth £36million to Transport for London.

When complete, the cable car is expected to carry around 2,500 per hour in each direction.

To make up the shortfall in construction costs, Mr Johnson said he expected to get around £8million from the EU and funding from retail businesses.

However, a question mark remains over how much taxpayers' cash will be used to pay for its construction, a point raised by Mike Tuffrey, the LibDem's budget spokesman on the London Assembly.

He said: "Transport for London admit that this sponsorship deal only meets 80 per cent of the construction cost. This leaves many millions of pounds worth of funding to be found from TfL's budget.

"At a time when fares are set to rise by well over the rate of inflation people will be asking why the Mayor has failed to live up to what he had promised and ensured the cable car was entirely self financing."

Reporting by Simon Hayes

CGI fly-though of the cable car route.