Cable car figures "in line with expectation", says TfL

By Rob Virtue on January 9, 2013 4:43 PM |

cable car emirates.jpg

Bosses of the Emirates Air Line cable car say passenger figures have met expectations in its opening months - despite being at just 10 per cent of its overall capacity.

The link from Silvertown to North Greenwich began service in June and enjoyed a successful Olympics. However, figures have consistently dropped since then.

At a river crossings meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, Michelle Dix, managing director of planning at Transport for London, was asked by Assembly Member Tom Copley whether the crossing was a hitting targets for passenger numbers.

"It was promoted to help regenerate both sides of the river," said Ms Dix. "Aside from the Olympics - because it was never promised to arrive in time for that - our first year estimates for usage, given that both sides aren't fully developed, is in line."

Mr Copley replied: "But it's running at 10 per cent of capacity. What's the future forecasts?"

To which the TfL manager responded: "Our forecasts going forward are that more people will use it as the area develops."

Mr Copley, a member for the Labour Party, condemned the response as a "vague forecast".

Other members of the discussion were also sceptical for the outlook of the cable car.

Steve Nelson of the South and East London Chamber of Commerce said: "It's a fairground ride and it's great fun.

"But you would get more Londoners on it now than in the future because once you've done it there's no need to do it again."

Pressure has recently been put on TfL and Mayor Boris Johnson, who pushed for the cable car, to include it in the London Travelcard system, thereby increasing usage.