A new cable car across the Thames, linking Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks, has been proposed by Transport for London (TFL).
The new river crossing would see journey times between the O2 and ExCeL - both venues for London 2010 - fall to around five minutes.
TFL say that the cable car, expected to be privately funded, would operate at a height of 50m, and be able to carry up to 2500 passengers over the Thames every hour.
Cable cars are used successfully in other cities such as Barcelona, Cologne, Hong Kong, Lisbon, New York and Singapore, but this would be the first such system in London.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“A cable car spanning the majestic Thames would not only provide a unique and pioneering addition to London's skyline, but also offer a serene and joyful journey across the river. Passengers would be able to drink in the truly spectacular views of the Olympic Park and iconic London landmarks whilst shaving valuable minutes from their travelling time. It would also provide a much needed enhancement of cross river options to the east of the city.”
Peter Hendy, London’s Transport Commissioner said:
“A privately funded cable car system offers a relatively quick and cost effective way of improving connections across the river for pedestrians and cyclists while road links are progressed in parallel. It would be frequent, with cable cars every 30 seconds carrying up to 2,500 passengers per hour in each direction, equivalent to the capacity of 50 buses per hour.”
Len Duvall, London Assembly member for Greenwich and Lewisham, commented via Twitter:
cable car: great for tourists but not a solution for E/London commuters. We only have 3 crossings east of Tower Brg Vs 16 to the west
As Darryl at 853 notes, a previous idea for a cable car to the dome in the late 90s came to nothing. You can have your say on the new proposal as TFL have launched a consultation which will last until August 2nd.
Updated - 06/07/10
Nick Raynsford MP has told Greenwich.co.uk that the cable car proposal is a piece of "tourist frippery" that is "not a solution to the cross river transport needs of South East London".
The MP for Greenwich and Woolwich said that although the scheme was a "nice little project" which would be good for tourism, it wouldn't address the "much wider problem" of the "absolutely hopeless cross river links" in the area.
He re-iterated his support for a new crossing at Silvertown and said that the Thames Gateway Bridge should never have been cancelled.