Contractors World

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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2012 Vol 2 No 5   
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Boarding passes ready as cable car system takes off Boarding passes ready as cable car system takes off

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Boarding passes ready as cable car system takes off

Despite some reservations a few months ago that the new cable car system crossing the River Thames would not be ready in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the system was officially opened recently.

It was considered that commissioning, adjustments and testing would take longer than anticipated, but due diligence by the contractor’s, Mace, meant the project was delivered in time. . . and at little cost to the country as a sponsorship deal has covered most of the construction costs.

The Mayor of London (right) unveiled the brand new way to travel across the Thames as the Emirates Air Line – the UK’s first ever urban cable car – took its first passenger flight.

The innovative addition to the capital’s transport network provides a much-needed new river crossing in east London, affording spectacular bird’s eye views of the city. The cabins provide 360º views taking in the City, Canary Wharf, historic Greenwich, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park.

Having taken just under a year to complete main construction works, the Emirates Air Line has a cable span of 1,100 metres boasting three soaring helix towers. Passengers will cross the River Thames travelling at heights of 90 metres between two brand new terminals (Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks), improving connections between two world class attractions – the O2 and ExCeL, whilst in close proximity to existing Tube and DLR systems.

The Emirates Air Line is a key part of the Mayor’s ambitious plans to revitalise east London, driving economic growth and supporting jobs. It will open up access to the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone and play a key part in attracting businesses and investors to the area. The scheme itself has provided valuable jobs, with more than 60 people employed by Mace Macro to operate the Emirates Air Line.

Contractors_World_Magazines_The Mayor of London, Boris JohnsonThe Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I am sure the Emirates Air Line is now set to be a must-see destination in its own right, giving people the chance to drink in breath-taking panoramic views. Crucially, the Emirates Air Line supports my ambitious plans to revive the neighbouring areas, which have been neglected for decades, creating jobs for Londoners and stimulating growth.

“We said we could deliver this travel link in quick time, and today we have shown that this city is capable of attracting serious investment to deliver world class infrastructure. As the world’s eyes focus on our city, I can think of no better message to send out across the globe.”

Last year the Mayor secured a £36m, ten year sponsorship deal with Emirates, one of the world’s leading airlines, covering the vast majority of the scheme’s construction costs.

The new river crossing can be used by pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists. They can board one of the 34 cabins from the new terminals, Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks, every 30 seconds.

The main construction, lead by Mace, has involved more than 1,500 people on sites both sides of the river.



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