You could see it over Greenwich on Thursday morning – above the buildings, a feature in the sky that wasn’t there on Wednesday morning.
The cable car tower? No, the band of smog that produced London’s worst pollution for four years. Boris Johnson is keen to leave his mark on London – well, it looks like we’ve got it from a mayor that’s eroded the congestion charge, planning to build more roads (including one on our doorstep) and failed to take action against gas-guzzlers. Nice one, Boris.
That’ll make the views from the cable car all the more bracing, won’t it? Despite the grotty weather predicted for Saturday, a helicopter’s due to string the cable itself across the Thames this weekend, a week later than planned. If you look closely at the south side station, a gondola is already in place.
Across town, work is starting on Crossrail. There’s some great graphics on the BBC’s story about this, including a telling map which show just how close the Greenwich peninsula got to having a second proper transport link to add to the already-rammed Jubilee Line.
To be fair, about 10 years ago Greenwich Council did press unsuccessfully for Crossrail to be routed via Charlton instead of the Royal Docks. It would have been a cheaper option, and if it’d got its way, this area would have been transformed within this decade.
But even then, if Crossrail looped a little bit further south, instead of looping a little bit further north, North Greenwich could have had an amazing transport interchange that’d have removed any possible need for a gimmicky cable car to somewhere few people aim for to be dressed up as a transport improvement.
So near, yet so far…