The race is on to complete a £50 million cable car that will connect two of London’s best known conference centres and event venues before the 2012 Olympics.
According to The Evening Standard, construction will begin this summer, and the car will be capable of transporting 2,500 people an hour between the two sites.
Transport for London (TfL) has said that it is “an extremely challenging timeline for a complex project” and has failed to provide a completion date as yet.
However, it has confirmed that the city’s pay-as-you-go Oyster card will be a viable form of paying for the 1,200 yard, five-minute trip.
London mayor, Boris Johnson, spoke to BBC News about the benefits of the cable car. He said: “Gliding serenely through the air across the Thames will provide a truly sublime, bird’s eye view of our wonderful city.”
“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.”
TfL will now be funding the project up-front in order to help its “quick delivery”. When the cable car was announced last July, TfL said that the car was to be privately financed at half of the total cost today – which is just £25 million.
A TfL spokesperson is standing by its decision to fund the project. It said: “The cable car will play a vital role in the once-in-a-lifetime regeneration of east London and provide a much-needed additional river crossing in this area of the city.”
“It remains the intention that TfL will seek to recoup as much of the cost as possible through a number of sources including advertising, sponsorship and fare revenue,” the representative added.