Thames cable car costs rise again to £60m

A Transport for London map showing the Thames cable car route A Transport for London (TfL) map shows the Thames cable car route

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I've learnt the cost of the mayor's flagship cable car project has gone up - again.

Initially, Transport for London (TfL) estimated the cost at £25m and said it would use only private finance to pay for it.

Then the estimate increased to £45m, with TfL admitting it would use its own budget.

Now, we find out that figure did not take into account "technical and legal advice, project management and assurance, land acquisition and procurement costs".

TfL says the total cost will now be £60m and it is actually paying for it out of the rail budget.

So far, so confusing.

This is what TfL sent to me: "TfL is forecasting to spend approximately £60m on the build cost for the cable car.

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"This includes the £45.1m for Mace [the construction company] build, £9.3m for other build costs.

"In addition an allowance of £5.2m has been set aside as, with any project of this scope and scale, funding for a contingency (set at 15% of the contract value) is required to cover unforeseen costs, although this may not be used.

"TfL is seeking to recoup the build cost through a combination of sources including a commercial sponsorship, third party funding (via an application to the European Regional Development Fund) and fare revenue."

TfL is in discussions with a potential sponsor and hopes to make an announcement soon.

Once finished, the cable cars will run 50m (164ft) above the Thames, carrying up to 2,500 people an hour between two Olympic venues: the O2 arena in North Greenwich and the Excel exhibition centre at the Royal Victoria Dock.

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    Most of London Underground (& London Overground) is not true public transport, because such a significant section of the public (disabled people, parents with buggies, etc) are denied equal access to the existing system. Boris cancelled TfL's scheme - to make more stations accessible across the whole of London - to finance this madcap, short-term white elephant? Nah, he's having a larf!

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    #20 - it could rise like Tower Bridge (or move sideways for that matter).The actual blueprint had shown the middle of the bridge lifting. Large ships only go through a couple of times per day so it would not be a big deal. Google the sustrans blueprint if you are interested. Ironically it would cost £60m which was then seen as difficult to justify, and here we are...

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    #19 - that would have to be a pretty tall bridge as otherrwise it would stop a huge range of ships going further up the river to central London.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    There was a study for a 5 metre wide bridge for pedestrians and cyclists between Hilton Docklands and Canary Wharf Pier, replacing the overpriced ferry service. This would enable thousands of people to walk, run and cycle to Canary Wharf, reduce the overcrowding on the Jubilee line and pressure on the Rotherhithe tunnel. The mayor choose not to do it, and opted for this folly instead. Sad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    @ 13 and who cancelled that bridge - the Thames Gateway Bridge ? yes it was Boris !

    If the cable car was never part of the Olympic Transport plan then why is time and money and staff time being spent on it when the Olympic plans are complex enough to manage.

    and as for finding a private sponsor - which private company would want their name sullied by being linked to this boodoggle?


Comments 5 of 22



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