London could get cable car for 2012 Olympics: officials

Plans to construct London's first cable car to carry visitors over the River Thames in time for the 2012 Olympic Games were unveiled by city officials Sunday.

Plans to construct London's first cable car to carry visitors over the River Thames in time for the 2012 Olympic Games were unveiled by city officials Sunday.

The 25 million pound (30 million euro, 38 million dollar) scheme, which would be privately funded, would connect the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks in the Docklands area of east London.

If it goes ahead, the cable car would cut the journey time between the 02 arena - previously known as the Millennium Dome - and the ExCel exhibition centre, both Olympic venues, from over half an hour to about five minutes.

The cars would be able to carry around 2,500 passengers per hour in each direction and would travel around 50 metres above the river.

City transport officials said they were in talks with private companies which are interested in the project.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said of the plan: "A cable car spanning the majestic Thames would not only provide a unique and pioneering addition to London's skyline, but also offer a serene and joyful journey across the river.

"Passengers would be able to drink in the truly spectacular views of the Olympic Park and iconic London landmarks whilst shaving valuable minutes from their travelling time.

"It would also provide a much-needed enhancement of cross-river options to the east of the city."

kah/cjo

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