You might have seen the Greenwich cable car in action over the bank holiday, with tests being stepped up. From halfway up the hill in Charlton, with the gondolas sat in pairs across the river, it looked a bit like a set of Christmas lights nobody had bothered to turn on.
There’s still plenty of work to do, though, before London’s most baffling piece of public transport opens, and planning permission’s just gone in for the signage at the front of the station. Here’s a bigger version of the picture above. No fares have been revealed, although Greenwich councillors were told in 2011 to expect charges of between £2.50-£3.50, and no opening date has been announced. Officially, the project is due to open after the Olympics, despite it linking two Games venues.
But cable car or no cable car, there’ll be more changes to the peninsula during the Games. Planning documents also reveal London 2012 sponsors are hoping to make their mark on the area with a huge advertisement on the side of the office building at Mitre Passage, facing the cable car site.
There are also plans for huge advertisements on the “green wall” behind North Greenwich station, as well as on the station itself. (Away from the peninsula, the BP garage on Woolwich Road, Charlton, is also planning to plaster itself with images of athletes including Jess Ennis.)
Finally, if the cable car isn’t ready in time, then a 35-metre high “Skylon Flyer” is due to open by North Greenwich Pier, if it passes through planning. There’s already been a similar attraction in Peninsula Square, but this one’s also clad in Olympic sponsor colours. As a vertigo sufferer I think I’ll just about manage the cable car – I might have to pass on being shot into the sky on the Skylon though…
Not sure I’ll manage either cable car or skylon due to my fear of heights, but maybe I should feel the fear and do it anyway!
Isn’t there also some kind of ‘climb on the roof of the O2 ‘attraction to come too? Time to rebrand Greenwich Peninsula as London’s Pointless Aerial Pursuits Quarter.
I am quite looking forward to going on the cable car, I must admit: should be good for photography, assuming not too much tinted glass/sponsors’ adverts plastered over the gondolas. And, of course, I can’t wait to find out what delights are in store at Royal Victoria.
Yeah I saw the testing going on. Only saw two gondolas though, there’s obviously more.
I won’t be going on it unless I need to get to the Excel (I haven’t in my life so far).
I wouldn’t mind the thing apart from the fact that I’ve had to pay for a chunk of it, despite reassurances I wouldn’t have to.
Even though it didn’t turn out to be ‘free’ I don’t think we can really complain about the neglibile cost relative to countless wastes of the transport budget that go on without fanfare, but having gone to Excel at the weekend via the usual Jubilee/DLR combination I can’t say the cable car is going to revolutionise too many journeys. It mostly adds resilience and provides a way of getting a bike over the river in this part of the borough without a big detour to one of the foot tunnels.
I can’t help but feel this could have been a model fun, cheap and genuinely useful project if only they had stuck with the original plan to run it to the Isle of Dogs. Its such a shame they couldn’t work past the concerns about gondolas going past windows of million pound flats. I’m sure I’m one of very many people who would happily cycle to Canary Wharf if it were easier to cross the river sensibly. Something like 21% of all Jubilee journeys start or end there and anything that could reduce that strain would be a massive help. In fact they probably should have built another one from Rotherhithe peninsula… Qatar airways could have paid for that one!
I saw them yesterday from Vanbrugh Hill – about 10 gondolas, looked really impressive. Very high though, I’m not sure if I’d be brave enough to try it.
Does anyone know if they’ve opened up the Thames pathway by the cable car?
They ran around 24 cars backwards and forwards yesterday morning. As for the Thames Path, not yet.
I find it very strange that people are impressed by such window dressing
Omar – I have a feeling I have read previously that bikes will not be allowed on the cable car. In my mind if that is the case then it most definitely is a shambolic waste of money.
More crossings are needed especially for cyclists. The options after Tower Bridge are the Rotherhithe Tunnel (not really something I would like to do with the congestion down there. It’s bad enough in the car), Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels or the Woolwich Ferry (Darryl – has anyone heard anymore on Boris’ plan to scrap the Woolwcih Ferry and move it to Thamesmead or was that just bluff before the election to make it look like he was doing something?).
I’d love to see Rotherhithe connected to Canary Wharf by a bridge (a pedestrian and cycle only bridge). Imagine the profit to be made if they did that AND extended the cycle hire scheme to Rotherhithe.
There are rather a lot of things you can’t do on a cable car
I used to feel somewhat aggrieved at having to pay for a tourist attraction like the cable car, but I guess at least it is one near where I live so I might actually use it. On balance, other Londoners paying for tourist attractions quite near me seems like a pretty good deal.
The c£20m+ we are all having to pay for it does rather put whatever Ken spent on entertaining Hugo Chavez into perspective though
I was at an event a couple of months ago where someone from TfL gave a presentation about the cable car and they said then that bicycles would be allowed on it. They also suggested that there would probably be some form of ‘carnet’ type ticket which would allow people using it regularly to pay less per journey than those (mainly tourists) turning up for one-off journeys. They didn’t give any specifics on ticket prices though and you won’t be able to use Oyster on it.
That’s interesting, because I’m sure TfL told Greenwich’s planning board that Oyster would be accepted (although there was no word about it being in the Travelcard scheme.)
I think the intention is to include it in Oyster at some point in the future but because, as you say, it won’t be part of the Travelcard scheme, there are technical difficulties which need to be overcome to allow it to be part of Oyster but not count towards the daily cap for a Travelcard. Hope that makes sense.
Isn’t it just like the river services? You can use Oyster on them but it doesn’t count towards the daily cap. Seems to work fine.
is there any definitive word on whether bikes will be allowed in them? I assumed not, as they only take 10 people at a time don’t they? Prob be like the DLR with only expensive folding bikes allowed on.
Boris White Elephant station has quite a nice ring to it.
[…] 853blog takes a closer look at the Greenwich Cable Car designs for the Emirates Air Line cable car in London […]
I’m pretty much 100% sure of it – it’s one of the justifications for it.
According to http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/15959.aspx, “From summer 2012, the cable car will allow pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists to cross the river Thames”
Of course, it could just carry cyclists, not their bikes as well …
The promo video on the below site shows both cyclists and Oyster readers:
[…] Greenwich peninsula cable car station: Final design revealed (8 May) (The first half of 2012 was spent watching the mayor’s cable car […]
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