Monday, 10 October 2011
London Cable Car
(Taken from ITN's website)
Here are a few links to have a look at. First of all, a new Cable Car for London. Sponsorship has been found, the planning process has been carried out at incredible speed and the hope is to open it in time for the Olympics. A massive White Elephant or a Grandiose Gesture and an essential new crossing over the Thames. Probably a little of both to be honest. I am in mixed minds about the project, and I think the money could have been better spent elsewhere but at the same time, any new crossings over the Thames is not to be sniffed at. It also is fast making East London one of the best served areas with regards to public transport. From Tower Bridge you can cross the river Thames six times by rail in addition to the Rotherhithe and Backwall Tunnels, the Rotherhithe & Woolwich Ferry and the foot tunnels - 3 times via the Jubilee Line, twice using the Docklands Light Railway and once using the Overground. With the Cable Car and the Crossrail Projects opening up in the next decade, in the space of a generation, this area has gone from pain in the ass backwater to interconnected hub!
Video for Cable Car
(Funky Corporate Music!)
So is the Cable Car a good thing? Well, there are arguments on both sides, and I really do see their points. The Cable Car is not a free option for London. Although a respected airline has stumped up the running costs for the construction work, the fact is that a few million quid is still going to come out of TfL's budget. In the end, not a biggie, compared to the 9 Billion that TfL spends in a year, but it does mean that an improvement elsewhere is going to be missing.
I am no big fan of the Mayor, as his transport cuts at the beginning of his term (it is criminal that the Tram was not extended to Crystal Palace - so cheap to do!) coinciding with huge increases in fares and the scrapping of the Kengestion charge were big steps backwards. I think the Borismaster is a waste of cash (nice but not necessary) and that the new cycle lanes are a bit lame, this coming from a cyclist's point of view. The Boris Bikes are a good thing, but all candidates in 2008 were committed to this scheme.
However, I do like the idea of a Cable Car. Yes, it is a bit of a vanity project, and the average Londoner is probably going to be better off taking the Jubilee Line. But if you are going to add new crossing capacity across the Thames, what a way to do it! It is a bit of a grand spectacle, but why not enjoy it! Sometimes you need to move beyond the mundane and the ordinary. And the fact that the bulk of the costs have been garishly sponsored is a good thing. At least the project is getting built. Kudos for the planning process being expedited - it is a wonder what the Olympics can do for a city!
Oh yes, expect me to be hopping on the Cable Car next year when built. I am one of those enthusiastic first timers!
Taken from TfL's website)