Greenwich Cable Car

The BBC reports that the estimated construction costs of the Thames cable car have been revised.  Originally it started off at £25m, then went to £50m and now £60m and will be paid for partially out of the rail budget.

What is the purpose of this cable car?  Is it a transport project or a tourism project?

If it’s being paid for out of the rail budget, then surely it must be a transport project, and on that basis it must stand comparison with other transport projects costing £60m.  To pass muster as a transport project, it has to deliver as many people as possible as fast as possible where there is demand for travel. The fares need to be reasonable, and you need connectivity – all of this seems to be a challenge for a cable car which is slow, has a limited market, and will have to compete with the prices of other existing transport options.

On the other hand, if it’s simply a tourist attraction, the view will be great but then why is it being paid for out of our already stretched transport budgets?

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