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Number of people using Thames cable car plunges

By Adam Bienkov
14 November 2012, 15:11

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Boris Johnson’s £60 million cable car is running at a tiny fraction of its capacity, new figures released to The Scoop reveal.

Between 18th September and 18th October, trips on the “Emirates Air Line” dropped to an average of just 5581 a day.

With a maximum capacity of 5000 an hour, this means that it operates at just 8.8% of its capacity.

The service is particularly poorly used on weekdays.

On one day in October, the total number of users plunged to just 1280, with an average of just 98 people using the crossing an hour.

This is less than 2% of the cable car’s capacity.

The service continues to perform better at weekends. Around 15,000 trips were made on each of the first two Saturdays in October.

However, even this is a steep decline from the Olympics when up to 30,000 used the service each day.

Sold as a new commuter link across the Thames, today’s figures suggest that the cable car is mostly seen as a tourist attraction.

As we reported last month, only tiny numbers of people are using the crossing with any regularity.

A spokesperson for Transport for London said today: “As with all new transport links, the number of regular users builds over a period of time as people become familiar with new journey possibilities.”

UPDATE Thanks to Tom @BorisWatch for putting our cable car passenger figures into a graph:


Adam Bienkov
Adam is a reporter for Politics.co.uk You can find links to his other work at AdamBienkov.com.

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