All Strung Up

It’s been a bit of a tortuous wait, every week for the past few weeks the PoL closed the river waiting for a helicopter to loop up the cables in the new cable car, every week something or other preventing it happen. In the end there was no helicopter and instead of it being a weekend sightseeing opportunity, it was a furtive night-time exercise.

Of course that doesn’t mean it was missed by IanVisits whose account of the evening is fascinating (though of course in true Schadenfreudian spirit I enjoyed the last bit best…)

You know I find myself getting rather excited by it. I know, I know – it’s an expensive transport system for virtually no commuters from nowhere to nowhere being built with a large public wodge of cash that could have been used for – well, any number of projects that would have actually helped relieve the public transport system. If I think about it too much I get quite cross. Certainly if I lived in, say Richmond or Ealing or somewhere miles away from it, I’d be furious at the construction of yet another Peninsula white elephant.

But I don’t. I live about a mile and a half away and it’s Greenwich’s own local white elephant (to replace the Dome, our previous local white elephant.)  I have been watching those elegant pylons go up, wanting to hate them, but I can’t. I really like the look of them; they remind me of something out of Metropolis, which, over by the Dome where it’s all a bit on the futuristic side, seems to work just fine to me.

Should it have been built? Of course not. Am I going to take a trip in one of those podules just as soon as I’m allowed? You bet.

I’m with Matt from Beware of the Trees. It’s a fucking cable car

Thanks, Adam, for the pics. I have lose count of the number of times I’ve passed by without my own camera…


the attachments to this post:

cable car strung up adam 2
cable car strung up adam 2

cable car strung up adam 1
cable car strung up adam 1


6 Comments to “All Strung Up”

  1. Neil says:

    It is a much more elegant addition to the skyline than the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

    Here’s a shot I took of it from Old Dover Rd on sunday morning: http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilclasper/6888380074/

  2. Old China says:

    I can’t believe how fast one can erect and rig up a cable car service! It seems to me that it’s shot up in no time, especially when considering how achingly long it’s taking to implement other Greenwich improvements. I like it, looking forward to going for a ride. Wheeeeeeeee.

  3. P & D says:

    Beware of the trees……”despite TfL’s highly specious claims that it will connect local communities by carrying up to 2,500 people an hour across the river in each direction, something that would otherwise take 30 buses an hour to achieve – there aren’t any local communities and no one, as far as I’m aware, ever suggested laying on 30 buses an hour as an alternative”

    How very true.

  4. Phil says:

    I was under the impression that the cable car was pretty much entirely privately funded – hence the naming rights for Emirates etc. There is a sizeable community at the other end of the cable car, including Britannia Village. There are a good number of houses and a huge number of flats with a huge number further being built in the surrounding area. Then there are also the many hotels there and the huge Excel exhibition centre and the soon to open Siemens exhibition centre. This cable car will open up a quick way to cross the river for the thousands of people living in the area as well as the huge numbers of people that stay in the hotels. Also bear in mind that this part of London is in dire need of more river crossings. It’ll make it’s money back in no time at all which is why it was considered a “no-brainer” when first announced.

  5. Neil says:

    @Phil – it’s partially privately-funded. £36m sponsorship money (spread over 10 years), out of construction costs of at least £60m. TfL’s rail budget’s picking up the shortfall, I believe.

  6. RogerW says:

    Hmmm. “… not being able to dislike it… ”

    I still remember the beginnings of Canary Wharf, and the way some saw that as a blot on the landscape (in terms of spoiling the view from Greenwich).

    I think part of me wanted to not like that – in the same kind of way as you – but I couldn’t dislike that, either.

    Matter of fact, I really took a genuine liking to the place after one particular night when they did a synchronised light and music show (lighting up different windows in different colours, etc), in conjunction with GLR (now BBC London Radio)!