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Planning permission granted for London's first cable car

Final permission for a cable car that will span the Thames and help to cut journey times in east London has been granted.

The go ahead has been given by the Greater London Authority for the scheme, the final hurdle in the planning process following approval of the scheme by Greenwich and Newham councils and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation.

A contractor for the cable car is set to be appointed this Spring. Discussions for funding, which is expected to come from a combination of sources including third party, sponsorship and fare revenues sources, are ongoing.

When up and running the cable car will be able to carry 2,500 passengers an hour and cut journey times between Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks. Cable cars would cross the Thames at a height of over 50m and passengers would be able to enjoy spectacular views of iconic London sites including the O2 and the Olympic Park, and it is hoped it can be operational in time for the 2012 Games.

The mayor of London Boris Johnson welcomed the approval.

“With permissions signed and sealed we are now a significant step closer to being able to cruise the east London skyline via an elegant cable car spanning the mighty Thames. It will be a truly exhilarating way for Londoners and visitors to explore our great city whilst providing a much needed river crossing to support the once-in-a-lifetime regeneration of this easterly quarter of the capital.”

The cable car would be a first for the capital, and the only urban system in the UK, seeking to replicate the success of cable cars in many cities across the world such as Lisbon and Barcelona.

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