Works for UK's first urban cable car to start soon

Mayor of London announced the construction of the UK's first urban cable car, for which carbon emissions savings remain uncertain.

Online PR News – 21-April-2011 – – Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced that work will start shortly on what is being hailed as the UK's first urban cable car. The scheme forms part of the East London regeneration programme, and is being hailed as a low- carbon emission transport alternative to cars and buses, with no impact on air quality, although, the scale of the project's potential carbon emissions savings remains unclear.

The urban cable car will stretch 1.1 km across the River Thames, from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks, the transit system will use 34 gondola cabins with a capacity to carry up to 2,500 people per hour. It is predicted to carry two million passengers per year.

But, despite claims that the cable car system will boast green credentials, the scale of the project's potential carbon emissions savings remains unclear. Transport for London (TfL) did not specify what would be the carbon emissions from the cable car once in use, or during construction.

Studies by the UNFCCC suggest baseline cable car carbon emissions will be determined by fuel type, the mode of transport passengers use to reach the cable car, the average number of passengers in each cabin, and the volume of carbon emissions that would have been created in the absence of the cable car.

The cable car project completion is targeted for summer 2012 before the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, and passengers will be required to pay for the cable car using an Oyster card or traditional ticket.

The Mayor's Office yesterday confirmed it has awarded a £45m contract to construction company Mace to lead a consortium that will start building work this summer. Boris Johnson came under fire last year when the predicted investment required to building the cable car shot up from £25m to at least £40m. TfL yesterday said it will provide upfront funding for the project, which it will later recoup from fare revenue, sponsorship and a commercial partner that will be selected from a tender later this year.

According to Boris Johnson, the new system will allow London to join the likes of Barcelona, New York and Singapore, which already operate cable cars as mass transport links.