Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed its £50m Emirates Air Line between Excel London and The O2 will take its first public flight at midday on 28 June.
The announcement follows months of speculation as to whether the cable car service would be available in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The service has been part-funded and sponsored by Emirates Air Lines under a 10-year, £36m deal. Final tests are being conducted on the service this week.
“The cable car represents another significant infrastructure investment in docklands which will make a major impact on ease of accessibility to Excel,” says MD of Excel London, David Pegler. “It gives direct access from Excel to the 02’s social facilities, bars and restaurants. As the world’s most popular music venue, this offers huge opportunities for event organisers and their visitors to create an exciting after hours destination.
“As the cable car becomes a leading visitor attraction it will also create substantial new awareness opportunities for Excel and further dispel perceptions regarding ease of travel around the area.”
The £50m cable car covers 1.1km and has the capacity to carry up to 2,500 passengers per hour in each direction, 90m above the Thames. TfL said the service will initially open seven days a week from 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 9pm Saturday and 9am to 9pm Sunday.
Passengers will be able to use their Oyster pay-as-you-go cards, with single fares costing £3.20 for an adult. The cash fare equivalent is £4.30. Regular users can also take advantage of a ‘frequent flyer’ boarding pass to make 10 single journeys for £16.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the Emirates Air Line is another step forward in his plan to revitalise east London and attract investment to the capital.
“On 28 June this spectacular new addition to London’s skyline will provide a much-needed new river crossing in the east of our great city,” the Mayor said. “It will open up access to jobs in the Royal Docks enterprise zone and attract businesses and investors to a previously under exploited area.”
The project was announced in early 2011 and has taken about 12 months to complete.
“The Emirates Air Line is an amazing achievement for all of those involved, given the timescale they worked within from it being an initial idea to a completed mode of transport,” London Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy added.
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