Will The Thames Cable Car Solve Transportation Issues In London

Many Londoners may eventually be crossing car loans off their list of monthly expenses. A cable car that runs over the Thames River and links the Excel to the O2 Arena has been proposed. Though many in London welcome the idea, the budget chairman of the London Assembly recently warned that it will not solve the cross-river transportation needs in East London.

A new crossing located east of the A12 Blackwall Tunnel has been delayed by London Mayor Boris Johnson. The Assembly representative from East London, John Biggs, stated that the cable car will not fill the gap that currently exists.

He said that while the cable car will “make an impact,” it is “mainly for tourists” rather than a “serious” method of transportation.

Another unappealing aspect of the cable car is that taxpayers may foot the £57 million bill for its construction. The mayor recently revealed that an adequate amount of private investment is not guaranteed. This is a marked change from his previous statements indicating private financing would pay for the river crossing.

Biggs and others feel that if pubic money must be used, it would be better spent on a new tunnel or road bridge to complement the recently-opened DLR rail link.

TfL has spent close to £3 million on the cable car project already. If no private funding offers are received, £54 million in public financing has been earmarked over the next two years for its construction. The mayor referred to this as taxpayer “pump prime” to bring in private capital.

The cable car may not be finished in time for the 2012 Olympics, according to the mayor. So, it seems it may not be time to tear up that car finance agreement. However, Londoners should start saving their pennies to fund the cable car project, a transportation method that may not greatly improve East London traffic.