Major of London, Boris Johnson has announced plans to build a spectacular cable car system across the River Thames with construction expected to begin this summer, and hopefully be completed in time for the 2012 Olympic Games.
The £40 million project, which has been backed by Boris Johnson, will stretch across the river from the Greenwich peninsula to the Royal Docks, linking the O2 Arena on the south bank to the ExCel exhibition centre in East London. Gondolas suspended 300ft in the air from cables attached to giant towers will carry 2,500 people across the Thames every hour, that’s the equivalent of 40 buses.
The tourist attraction will stretch for three quarters of a mile and have 34 gondolas each able to carry a maximum of 10 people. The towers will rise 300 feet in the air but still be dwarfed by the iconic London Eye which stands tall at 440 feet; however both will be overshadowed by the Shard, which, at 1,017 feet will be the tallest building in Europe upon its completion next year.
Johnson is confident that the cable cars will become a major tourist attraction offering stunning views of the city to both commuters and tourists. He said: “We are a significant step closer to being able to cruise the East London skyline via an elegant cable car spanning the mighty Thames.” He continued: “it will be an exhilarating way for Londoners and visitors to explore our great city while providing a much needed river crossing to support the regeneration of this quarter of the capital.”
The cable car system has been designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre but it is not yet clear as to who will actually build the structure.
Current favourites are Mace, the company constructing the Shard. Concern was also shown for the safety of aeroplanes flying into London City Airport; however a review by National Air Traffic Services has confirmed that the likelihood that an accident could happen is ‘one in every 15 million years’.