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Unusual London Transport Systems
Emirates Air Line - Royal Victoria Bridge - St Peter's Hill Funicular
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This page shows images of two unusual water crossings near the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in East London, plus the St Peter's Hill Inclined Lift at St Pauls.
The Emirates Air Line is an aerial cableway opened just before the start of the 2012 London Olympics. This is the only urban transport cableway in the UK. The second crossing is the Royal Victoria Dock Bridge, which should have been the only modern transporter bridge built in the UK. Unfortunately the second construction phase to add the transporter gondola has never been instigated. What remains is rather bizarre high level pedestrian footbridge accessed by lengthy sets of stairs. The installed lifts at each end were both out of service when I visited resulting in the least accessible London bridge for those with reduced mobility or prams etc. The reason given for why the gondola was never added - that the bridge use is too low - is not surprising given the inconvenient nature of the current design. Finally, the St Peter's Hill Inclined Lift is a small funicular linking the Thames riverside path with the end of the Millennium Footbridge (the 'Wobbly Bridge').
Emirates Air Line
Emirates Air Line is a Transport for London gondola lift cable car link across the River Thames in London, built with sponsorship from the air carrier Emirates. It opened just before the 2012 London Olympics and initially carried over 70,000 passengers per week.
The scheme, announced in July 2010, comprises a 1 km (0.62 mile) cable car line that crosses the Thames from the Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks. The project, estimated to cost £60 million, began construction in August 2011. The cable car is to be based on Monocable Detachable Gondola (MDG) technology, a system which uses a single cable for both propulsion and support, such as that used on the Caracas Aerial Tramway. The MDG system is reportedly cheaper and quicker to install than a more complex three-cable system which would allow for larger-capacity cars. (Ref: Wikipedia)
Eight months after its launch, the Air Line was looking increasingly like a bit of a white elephant with weekly users down to 16000. Estimates put the number of regular commuters using it as a method of transport are as low as 16, showing that it is just a tourist attraction with no real transport function. Losses were around £50,000 per week. On a fine day people turn out in good numbers, but few want to travel in poor weather, plus it closes completely in high winds. It will be interesting to see how things develop. catch it while you can, it is a spectacular ride.
Go to Emirates Air Line (Cable Car)
For Latest Emirates Air Line (Cable Car) Information:-
Official TfL Air Line Website: www.tfl.gov.uk
Royal Victoria Dock Bridge
The Royal Victoria Dock Bridge is a signature high-level footbridge crossing the Royal Victoria Dock in the Docklands area of east London designed by London-based architects and designers Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. The bridge provides a direct link from Eastern Quay and Britannia Village, a residential development to the south of the dock, to the ExCeL Exhibition Centre and Custom House station, both situated to the north of the dock.
The bridge takes the form of an inverted Fink Truss, with six masts rising above the deck at 25.5 m (84 ft) centres, varying in height from almost 30 m (100 ft) at each end to just 10.6 m (35 ft) for the smallest masts. The shape of the bridge is designed to reflect the masts of the sailing boats which use the dock. The bridge crosses the dock with a clearance of some 15 m (50 ft) above the water, a height which was necessary to allow yachts to pass below the bridge deck. The bridge is accessed at each end by lift and stair towers.
The bridge was completed in 1998, at a cost of £5 million. A second construction stage envisaged in the bridge's design involves the addition of a glass passenger cabin travelling on a rail of the underside of the deck to make this a transporter bridge. After 14 years it seems unlikely this will now happen. (Ref: Wikipedia)
Go to Royal Victoria Dock Bridge (Transporter)
St Peter's Hill Funicular (Inclined Elevator)
An inclined elevator was built by the Italian firm Maspero Elevator when the Millennium 'Wobbly' Bridge was built in 2000 (re-opened after modifications in 2002) connecting St Pauls with the Tate Modern. The performance of the fully automatic lift was erratic and prone to vandalism. The replacement lift (cost approx £750,000) was built by Hütter for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Go to St Peter's Hill Inclined Elevator
Sections on this Page
Emirates Air Line (Cable Car)
Royal Victoria Dock Bridge (Transporter)
St Peter's Hill Inclined Elevator
UK Transporter Bridges
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UK Excursion Vessels
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