Why I Love the #Dangleway

Okay, it’s not the quickest way to get to anywhere other than Victoria Dock itself, and yes, the cash could have been spent on other things – but I hold up my hands – I love the new cable car with a passion.

I wasn’t convinced I was going to – as a sickly Phantom who suffers from both vertigo and motion sickness I had my doubts. About a week before it opened I took a trip on the Roosevelt Island ‘Tram’ in New York, which isn’t nearly as high, but at least similar (it, too, goes to somewhere that is already served by other transport, and only has a bunch of flats, an old tram shelter and a hospital once you get there) just to see if I was going to freak out.

I didn’t. Still, the first time I used our own local cable car for local people, I used my Oyster, just in case. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately bought a season ticket. Then I bought a bunch of other season tickets so I could persuade my friends to come.

Why do I love it?

I love the views. I love the way it stops and steadies itself in high winds. I love the cheery chaps that arrange who’s going to sit where like something out of a stop-motion kid’s TV programme like Bob the Builder or Postman Pat. I love looking down on Anthony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud and realising that you can still see a human figure in it even from above. I love looking across at the boiler-suited climbers huffing and puffing their way up and over the Dome, desperately pretending that they’re on Sydney Harbour Bridge, and smugly thinking ‘ha, ha, cheaper, easier, higher, sitty-downier than you…’  I love the screens with the creepy films of ‘locals’ waving for just that little bit too long as you’re waiting to have a podule allocated to you. I love that the season tickets are so lo-tech that you actually have to have them punched with a proper puncher like back in the 1950s and the guy on barrier duty has to stop everything to let you out.  I love the air-con blowing round my bare ankles (or is that just a draft?) I love the way it speeds up as you’re going down so you get that little rush of adrenalin (I know, I know, I haven’t been out much recently.) I love that the quickest way through to North Greenwich station is through a busy car park and nobody seems to think that that’s going to be a problem.

I’m such a kid that I find myself scrambling about over the seats to make sure I don’t miss anything, then I realise I’ve missed loads and the first thing I want to do is get back on again. I even used it to actually get from A to B a couple of times, albeit in a slightly roundabout and more expensive fashion than it would have been if I’d just gone from North Greenwich to Stratford on the Jubilee Line.

I know. I’ve heard all the white elephant/ should have spent it on other things/ Mayor’s vanity project/ in the pocket of a certain airline/ frivolous waste/ already served by plenty of transport/ will be unused after the ‘Lympics arguments and in my head I hear them. Trouble is, in cases such as this my heart always, always wins. I just love the cable car.

My one regret is that I haven’t actually had a podule to myself yet. Never mind – shouldn’t have to wait long for that…


the attachments to this post:

rosevelt tram 2
rosevelt tram 2

cable car
cable car


6 Comments to “Why I Love the #Dangleway”

  1. Doris says:

    I’m with you on this one, Phantom. What I liked absolutely best of all was that my ‘ticket’ was clearly labelled ‘Boarding Pass.’
    Even the wait for a 188 bus and then the less than speedy ride back to West Greenwich didn’t deter the fun of the trip. But it was definitely not the quickest way home from LCY! No prob with baggage, by the way.
    Glad you’re back, by the way!

  2. Gemma says:

    We love it too! Not very useful as a mode of transport, though maybe it will cause more stuff to open at royal Victoria and we enjoyed the little pebble beach watching the cable skiers, but great fun!

    We wanted to buy the ten-ticket tickets (is this what you mean by a season ticket?) for ourselves and for potential guests but they said they were named for one person only and you couldn’t transfer to others, is this not the case? It doesn’t sound like it from your description of getting them clipped!

    Welcome back!

  3. Gary says:

    And I think it’s pretty good, also. Over too quick, but great fun nevertheless. I recommend a ride on the cables followed by a few pints in the Pilot Inn (avoiding the Vegas-style amusement of the North Greenwich Arena!).

  4. Alan Palmer says:

    I enjoyed it when I went the other day as well, although I don’t know about repeating the trip all that often; even with the discount offered to Oyster Card holders it’s not cheap for a 5-10 minute journey.

    The cheery staff were a refreshing change from the often-surly bods in other TfL public transport areas. It’ll be interesting to see if they still keep smiling after the influx of visitors for the Olympics and Paralympics has gone.

  5. theearhole says:

    i didn’t enjoy being stuck on it for 50 minutes with no communication in the blazing heat. horrorshow and no mistake.

  6. Geoff says:

    GP – good to see your return which is coinciding with a fantastic time (or even more fantastic time) to be living in the wonderful borough of Greenwich. Managed to get on a single pod on the car for both journeys last Friday evening in the sunshine – and it was well worth it – obviously bein able to run back and see the same great views again and again was well worth it. And now onto the Olympics – walked down Maze Hill earlier today and Greenwich Park was looking lovely – the rest of the world will be looking on and jealous – yes, I know we cannot get into the park for the next few weeks, but we can enjoy it with everyone else and then go back in when the Olympics are over.