May Day for Thames cable car?

Emirates Air Line launch photo.jpgPassengers could be crossing the River Thames using the Emirates Air Line from May 1.

The Wharf has learned that's the date Transport for London has pencilled in for the opening of the £50million cable car between North Greenwich and the Royal Docks.

That means the 1.1km link, which was started last July, will be fully operational for the start of the Olympic Games in July, even though it has never been officially included in the Olympic travel plan. Both The O2 and Excel are hosting Olympic and Paralympic events.

However, Mayor of London Boris Johnson - who conceived the idea - would not be drawn on the date on a visit to Greenwich Peninsula this morning.

He said: "I'm not going to confirm that. All I can say is that I'm very excited by the progress. It's amazing to see it going up.

"Look at TfL's ability to deliver a project. When they are told to get on with something they can move. Nobody's counting their chickens but I can see one tower up, and the beginnings of a cable car station and that's pretty impressive."

cablesouthstation.jpgMr Johnson said negotiations were ongoing with the European Regional Development Fund over a possible £8million contribution towards the scheme. TfL has put up the funds to build it, despite Mr Johnson originally saying it would be entirely privately funded.

He has secured £36million of sponsorship from Emirates Air Lines over the next 10 years, but fare prices - which will also be used to recoup the costs - have not been revealed.

A TfL spokeswoman said: "It is scheduled for completion in the summer, which already represents an extremely short turnaround for what is a complex project.

"The final fare structure for the Emirates Air Line is still being finalised. Further information on fares is expected to be announced in spring 2012."

It will be permitted to operate between 7am-midnight on weekdays, 8am-midnight on Saturdays and 9am-11.30pm on Sundays, although actual operating hours will be set to reflect consumer demand.


Suzy said:

Very exciting - do hope it's up and running in time for the Olympics. And even if not, it will give a great boost to attractions in East London (ie the real East London, not the City which sometimes gets portrayed as East London in the media!)