Cable Car for London

Plans for a new £25 million River Thames crossing using a cable car system were unveiled today by Transport for London (TfL).

The cable car would cross the Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks and could be open in time for the 2012 London Olympics.

Capable of carrying up to 2,500 passengers an hour in each direction, the cable car would travel at a height of more than 50 metres.

It would cut journey times to around five minutes between the 02 arena and the ExCel exhibition centre - both of which are Olympic venues.

To be privately funded, the cable car could provide a crossing every 30 seconds. Discussions are ongoing with a number of private sector organisations that have expressed interest in the project.

Cities already operating cable car systems include Barcelona, Cologne, Hong Kong, Lisbon, New York and Singapore.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said today: "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."

London's Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said: "We recognise the need for additional river crossings east of Tower Bridge and a range of options are currently being examined including how they will be funded. However, many of these measures such as a new vehicle crossing at Silvertown will take years to deliver. 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."