“Greenwich cable cars in London City airport crash zone”
10:31 16 February 2011
The Thames cable car project has ground to a halt after fears that it will be in London City Airport’s crash zone.
London mayor Boris Johnson has commissioned a review of the project after it was discovered the cable cars linking Greenwich to the Royal Docks in east London, was in City Airport’s crash zone, which extends to Thamesmead.
This comes after both Greenwich and Newham councils granted planning permission to the project, designed to cut journey times between the Olympic venues - the O2 arena in Greenwich and the ExCel exhibition centre in the Docklands.
Mr Johnson’s spokesperson said: “The mayor has received letters suggesting that further safety analysis of the cable car application be carried out in relation to the expansion of City Airport.”
Transport for London (TfL) has instructed the air traffic controllers National Air Traffic Services (NATS) to conduct the review.
Despite this, TfL claim the project will still be complete in time for the London 2012 Olympics. Its spokesperson said: “We do not expect this process to have any material impact on our planned delivery timetable.
“However this is subject to planning permission and funding being secured.”
This comes after pressure group Fight the Flights lost its judicial review against Newham council’s decision to approve the airport’s expansion plans last month. Now City Airport’s annual flights look set to increase from the current 90,000 to 120,000.
The charity Friends of the Earth, which wrote to Mr Johnson, said it welcomed the environmentally friendly project but was worried about public safety.
Its London campaigner Jenny Bates said: “We welcome the news that a safety assessment on the proposed cable car development has now been commissioned.
“A cable car would create a great, environmentally friendly river crossing but the safety of the route is currently jeopardised by City Airport expansion plans.”
Greenwich council’s spokesperson was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press while a spokesperson for Newham council refused to comment.
A report published last month and overseen by TfL’s deputy chairman Daniel Moylan said the UK economy would suffer and London would lose jobs to its European competitors unless a new airport was built in the South East.