News from Len Duvall OBE: Len Duvall - Closures show cable car isn’t an option for commuters
New TfL figures show that the Emirates Airline cable car was closed on a total of 354 occasions between July 2012 and Dec 2014. London Assembly Member Len Duvall AM said the high number of closures made the cable car “far too unreliable to be a serious option for commuting”. The criticism came as the cable car, which runs between the Royal Docks and the Greenwich Peninsula, closed for a full week to undergo maintenance.
The closures ranged from a few minutes to over nine hours. Of the 354 individual closures, nearly 250 were as a result of high winds, whilst technical issues, lightening risk, port authority and police requests made up the remainder.
In total the cable car was closed for 520 hours over the period, the equivalent of 37 operational days or over one day a month, since it opened.
Meanwhile there are concerns about the disappointing number of passengers using the service. Despite the Mayor hailing the cable car as “a fantastic deal for London” passenger numbers have dropped significantly since 2012, this year averaging around 4,285 passengers per day. By comparison, the capital’s 25 bus route alone carries almost 64,000 passengers per day.
Labour London Assembly Member Len Duvall AM said:
“There’s no denying the cable car is a novel tourist attraction but as a transport project it just doesn’t fly. For many people in Greenwich the hundreds of closures every year mean the route is far too unreliable to be a serious option for commuting.
“The Mayor has put £61m of taxpayer money into the cable car despite promising it wouldn’t cost Londoners anything. With our buses and tube lines increasingly overcrowded there are plenty of ways this money could have been better spent. At least its dire passenger numbers mean that only minimal numbers of passengers will have been disrupted by the hundreds of hours of closures.”