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Emirates Air Line cable car opens well ahead of the Olympics

The UK’s first urban cable car, the Emirates Air Line spanning the River Thames in East London, was opened yesterday by London mayor Boris Johnson.

Project manager Mace oversaw construction which took under a year to complete and until recently there were concerns that the new crossing might not open ahead on the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Emirates Air Line has a cable span of 1.1km across three helix towers and passengers will cross the River Thames travelling at heights of 90m between two new terminals, near the O2 and Excel event venues.

“I am sure the Emirates Air Line is now set to be a must-see destination in its own right, giving people the chance to drink in breath-taking panoramic views,” said Johnson. “Crucially, the Emirates Air Line supports my ambitious plans to revive the neighbouring areas, which have been neglected for decades, creating jobs for Londoners and stimulating growth.”

Airline Emirate contributed £36M to the reportedly £60M overall cost of the scheme, via a 10 year sponsorship deal.

Passengers can board one of the 34 cabins from the new terminals, Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks, every 30 seconds.

  • The main construction of the Emirates Air Line, led by Mace, has involved more than 1,500 people on sites both sides of the river, helping to deliver the newest addition to the capital’s transport network.
  • Mace Macro will operate the scheme. It can be used by pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists and has the capacity to carry up to 2,500 people per hour in each direction, the equivalent of 30 buses. 
  • Passengers will be able to touch in at the gates with their Oyster pay as you go cards to take a flight on the Emirates Air Line.


Readers' comments (2)

  • Not convinced this is the UK's first cable car. There is on in Matlock serving the Heights of Abraham and Alton towers has at least one. Has an over zealous sub-editor removed a few more adjectives like public transport ?

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  • The word missing is "urban"

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It's now been included.

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