Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled the latest way to cross the capital, in a cable car scheme sponsored by Dubai based company Emirates to the tune of £36 million. The £60 million project is to be named the Emirates Air Line and is scheduled to be completed by summer 2012 in time for the London Olympics.
Boris unveiled a cable car at the ExCel Marina, saying
"This multi-million pound deal is tremendous news for London, helping us to deliver a new addition to the city's skyline. The Emirates Air Line will be an exciting and innovative mode of transport easing travel for thousands and offering spectacular bird's eye vistas of our majestic Thames” the London Evening Standard reported.
Boris added "The UK's first urban cable car will also act as a vibrant catalyst for the further regeneration of east London helping to attract jobs and investment for the benefit of Londoners."
The cable cars, known as gondolas, will transport passengers across the Thames from North Greenwich to the Royal Victoria Dock in just five minutes. There will be 34 cable cars transporting passengers 160 feet above the Thames. Emirates will have its name displayed on every London Tube map as part of the sponsorship deal.
President of Emirates, Tim Clark, announced
“The Emirates Air Line will take off as an iconic landmark for London. We are always looking for new ways to support the communities we serve and what better way than to bring this ground-breaking transport scheme to residents and visitors alike” according to Docklands 24
Even with Emirates sponsorship, the scheme has more than doubled in cost from its original budget of £25 million. According to the Guardian
, Transport for London will pick up the tab for the shortfall which it hopes to recuperate by applying for a grant from the European regional development fund. An Emirates spokesman said it “would be nice bonus” if the new Emirates Air Line is completed in time for the Olympics.