New river crossing soars 90m above the Thames
Wilkinson Eyre’s cable car across the Thames was opened by the Mayor of London today.
The 1.1km river crossing, with its three soaring helix towers and two glazed terminals, took its first passengers this morning.
Running between the O2 arena in Greenwich and the Excel exhibition centre in the Royal Docks, it will have the capacity to carry 2,500 people an hour.
Wilkinson Eyre Architects won the project in competition. Aedas was project architect. Working with Expedition Engineering, they had to fit the crossing in to a “corridor” with numerous constraints that included a minimum 54m clearance for Tall Ships above the Thames, constraints in plan and section relating to City Airport, multiple landholdings and existing infrastructure.
Oliver Tyler, project director at Wilkinson Eyre, said: “The Emirates Air Line makes a dramatic architectural statement and will help to define the emerging character of the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks.”
Journeys will take five minutes during peak hours but Transport for London will slow the crossing to 10 minutes at other times, believing that sightseers will make up a significant proportion of the passengers.
The UK’s first urban cable car will cost £3.20 for a single crossing, though “frequent flyers” will get a discount.
Capable of taking cyclists as well as pedestrians, it will operate between 7am and 9pm Mondays to Fridays. It will open at 8am on Saturdays and 9am on Sundays and close an hour earlier during the winter.
During major events it will operate until midnight Monday to Saturday and 23:30 on Sunday.
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