Worst week for cable car as figures hit all-time low

By Rob Virtue on January 29, 2013 5:11 PM |

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Fog, snow and freezing weather meant less than 16,000 people used the Thames cable car last week.

The total - 15,996 - was nearly 5,000 less than the previous low, which took place in the week ending December 15.

Earlier this month, Transport for London said passenger figures were in-line with expectations.

It added the user numbers were expected to go up as regeneration on each side of the river increases.

However, the link from Silvertown to North Greenwich has come under fire for its poor figures since the end of the Olympics, with many saying it has failed as a commuter service.

At the time of the launch last summer, cable car representatives said, as well as being a tourist attraction, it was also aimed at London's workforce.

As part of that TfL introduced Oyster card discounts and 'frequent flyer' bundles of 10 journeys for £16.

The failings have led critics to call for free trips for those with travelcards to help the link become more viable as a commuter service.

Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group leader Caroline Pidgeon said: "It is normal practice for a new transport link to experience a growing number of passengers as people find out about the route and start using it on a regular basis.

"The Thames cable car is totally bucking the trend with its passenger figures seeing a consistent downward trend.

"It is time for the Mayor and TfL to face up to the facts that few people see little point in regularly using the cable car under its current fare structure.

"Having poured so much public money into the scheme the Mayor must now ensure it operates as an integral form of public transport.

"A good start would be to ensure that people with a relevant Travelcard are not charged again for using a publicly funded transport scheme."

The cable car is having another tough week currently due to closures caused by high winds.