Client: Transport for London
Architect: Aedas
Contractor: J Coffey Construction Ltd

London’s first cable car lifts off over Greenwich

Commuting by cable car has come to the UK as a River Thames crossing with a difference opened to the public on 28th June 2012. The Emirates Air Line, a £44 million cable car system spanning the Thames in London, was officially launched by London mayor Boris Johnson. The cable cars will whisk passengers almost 300ft above the river between Greenwich, by the 02 Arena in south London, and the Royal Docks, by the ExCel exhibition centre to the north.

Each car provides 360-degree views taking in the City, Canary Wharf, historic Greenwich, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park. Boris Johnson commented: “Get on this cable car immediately. It’s beautiful, worth every penny and a stunning piece of engineering.” The system is sponsored by Dubai-based airline Emirates, which has contributed £36 million to the project in a 10-year deal.

Emirates Air Line, the UK’s first urban cable car, now operates between the O2 and ExCeL conference centre in London. Opened to the public in June 2012, the London Emirates Air Line cable car now runs between two newly constructed terminals; Emirates Greenwich Peninsula by the O2 and Emirates Royal Docks beside the ExCeL conference centre.

The gondolas, which travel 160 feet above the river, are an eye-catching feature and are a vital cross-Thames link in east London and part of the drive to regenerate the local economy. There are 34 gondolas carrying 2,500 passengers an hour every day across the river between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks in just five minutes.

Materials used

Continuing the paving theme throughout the Greenwich Peninsula, Hardscape supplied Kellen Breccia Tagenta paving and Crystal Black granite benches which are situated around the terminal at the O2 side of the river Thames with Kobra granite paving and kerbs to complement this prestigious Capital scheme.