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Cable car crossing posts lowest weekly passenger numbers since opening

16:39 30 January 2013

The cable car crossing in east London

The cable car crossing in east London

Archant

Passenger numbers on the cable car across the river Thames in east London continue to plummet - with fewer people using the service last week than in any other since it opened.

Fewer than 16,000 people used the cable cars in the week ending January 26 – 4,500 less than in any other since the service opened in June 2012.

Passenger numbers on the crossing, between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, have fallen by more than 80 per cent since the end of the Olympics. The decline in users is showing no sign of easing.

London Assembly Member for City and East, John Biggs, said the cars are not attractive to commuters because they are not linked to the rest of the network.

“The Mayor [of London, Boris Johnson] needs to decide if its part of the transport network or a tourist attraction.”

“It’s a bit of a white elephant at present, but in the future it might be more attractive”, he added.

But Danny Price, who is Transport for London’s head of the Emirate Air Line, claimed he was confident the number of people using the service would increase as east London’s population continues to grow.

He said: “As with all new transport links, the number of regular users builds over time as people become familiar with new journey possibilities.

“Current passenger numbers are in line with TfL’s forecasts”, he added.

TfL is still waiting to recoup its £15.5m outlay from sponsors Emirates and EU funding.

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