Monday 28 May 2012

Emirates Air Line will provide much needed new river crossing for east London
New transport link key part of Mayor’s regeneration plans to create
jobs and growth

The construction of London’s newest transport link has reached another
milestone as all 34 cabins of the Emirates Air Line took off for
their inaugural load testing flight. This extensive testing programme
is part of a series of rigorous safety trials and follows last month’s
completion of the Emirates Air Line’s three towers with cabling
extended across the river. The cabins will travel across 1.1km of
cable, gliding 90m above the Thames with weights representing the
maximum number of passengers before the Emirates Air Line opens for
passenger service in summer 2012.

The innovative Emirates Air Line is
a key plank of the Mayor’s plans to revitalise east London and create
jobs for Londoners and attract investment into the capital. It will be
a much needed new river crossing with the capacity to carry up to
2,500 people per hour in each direction – the equivalent of 30 buses
per hour. The Mayor has secured £36m from Emirates to fund the
connection which will create a direct link between the O2 and ExCeL,
and an additional interchange between the Jubilee line and Docklands
Light Railway. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “The speed
with which we have gone from designs to safety testing of the Emirates
Air Line is a clear demonstration of London’s ability to deliver world
class projects and attract major investment. This new transport link
is set to support my plans to transform east London into a vibrant new
metropolitan quarter boasting new jobs, homes and enterprise.
“Londoners can now see this fabulous new feature of our city’s skyline
being put through its paces before they can get on board themselves to
breathe in the stunning views it will afford.”When the Emirates Air
Line opens passengers will have spectacular views of the city
including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Gherkin, Thames Barrier and the
Olympic Park. It will also be possible to see as far as Wembley
Stadium Arch, 15 miles away. Laurie Berryman, Vice President UK at
Emirates said: “This test flight is a significant milestone in the
development of this new transport system, and brings us closer to
being able to fly passengers across the Thames between the two
terminals at Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks.
This innovative form of air travel is an interesting addition to our
extensive flight network, allowing us to connect with even more people
in London and from across the world.”Design, Build and Operating
contractor Mace is working closely with cable car specialist
Doppelmayr to carry out the testing. Matt Randall, Project Director
for Mace, said: “The testing and commissioning of all 34 cabins over
the Thames will see the system really put through its paces over the
coming days. The cabins have travelled smoothly on their early
journeys and we are making excellent progress on the wider
construction with both Terminals and landscaping nearing
completion.”The Emirates Air Line will provide the first additional
river crossing in a proposed package of measures. Following a
consultation at the beginning of the year, TfL is developing proposals
for further river crossings; a tunnel at Silvertown and a new ferry
crossing at Gallions Reach.

Providing a direct connection between the Greenwich Peninsula and
Royal Victoria Docks, Emirates Air Line will cut journey times and
link the O2 Arena with the ExCeL – Europe’s two biggest entertainment
venues. ·
Both areas surrounding the Emirates Air Line have been earmarked for a
number of regeneration projects with the Royal Victoria Docks selected
as one of the new Local Enterprise Zones. The Emirates Air Line will
play a key role in supporting these regeneration projects by providing
a quicker and more direct link. It will also give local communities on
both sides of the Emirates Air Line access to a range of
entertainment, job and leisure opportunities that are set to become
available as regeneration kicks up its pace. ·
The South Tower, at the largest of the three, is made up of
approximately 6,500 steel pieces measuring between 30-50mm long and
weighing around 570 tonnes.

See also the following link from the BBC website