by Tanya Thomas on  April 20, 2011 at 9:54 AM Lifestyle News
 Scenic Cable Car Ride Over the Thames Planned For London 2012 Olympics
London is to get a cable car across the River Thames to link two 2012 Olympic venues, the city's transport authority said Monday, with construction to begin within the next few months.

Transport for London (TfL) said it was "striving" to have the project finished in time for the Games, which start on July 27 next year.

The cable car will link the Greenwich Peninsula, home of the O2 Arena, to the Royal Victoria Dock on the north bank, where the ExCeL exhibition centre is, said TfL.

The arena will host artistic gymnastics, trampoline and the basketball finals, while the ExCeL will host boxing, fencing, judo, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

The 34 cabins will carry up to 2,500 people per hour on a five-minute, 1.1-kilometre journey across the Thames.

"Gliding serenely through the air across the Thames will provide a truly sublime, bird's eye view of our wonderful city," said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

"This innovative airborne travel link will be a vital component in the ongoing renaissance of a vibrant easterly quarter of the capital, providing a much needed river crossing."

The east London docklands once made up the world's largest port, but had fallen derelict by the 1980s. They are now the focus of regeneration efforts, with the Olympics part of the plan to revamp the East End.

The cable car project will cost 50.5 million ($82 million, 57 million euros) -- double the preliminary estimate.

TfL is trying to find investors in return for sponsorship, including naming rights and branding options.

The cable car was designed by London architects Wilkinson Eyre.

The consortium to build and operate it will be led by Mace, whose past projects in the city include the London Eye observation wheel and the Shard, which will be the tallest building in western Europe.

Source: AFP

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