Posts Tagged: London Thames Cable Car

05
Oct

2012

Weekly Roundup: A Cable Car In Groningen?

The Original Flyover Groningen Logo.

A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of cable cars, urban gondolas, and cable propelled transit:

  • The Jericho Cable Car is – apparently – the longest cable car in the world operating below sea level. It’s profiled at Al Arabiya.


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20
Aug

2011

Weekly Roundup: Solar Powered Gondolas

Colorado's Telluride Gondola is set to be powered by solar panels with an extensive carbon offset policy. Image by flickr user Glenda Jeffrey.

A few highlights from around the world of Urban Gondolas, Gondola Transit, and Cable Propelled Transit:

  • Could the cable industry be taking aim at PRT? Indian Express reports that the world’s two largest CPT manufacturers – Doppelmayr Cable Car and Leitner Ropeways – have attended a pre-bid meeting in order to bid on a project to build India’s first Personal Rapid Transit system. CPT vs. PRT, this should be an interesting story to follow.


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14
Apr

2011

London Cable Car: Apparently Not A River Crossing

Artists rendition of the London Cable Car

Yesterday Simon Hayes of Warf.co.uk wrote a piece on the upcoming London Thames Cable Car (Gondola).

Work apparently is to start this summer and everything but the legalities have been finalized. A bidder has been named, but will not be announced until all legal agreements have been signed.

A spokesman for Transport for London was even quoted as saying the gondolas will be “competitively priced in terms of being incorporated of London’s public transport network and Oyster will be accepted.”

In other words: There’s a good chance this system may actually be integrated by fare.

If so – and I’m not holding my breath – that would be a huge step towards treating this system as a component of the London transport network, rather than merely as a Toy for Tourists.

Nevertheless, there’s always a cynic. In the article, London Assembly member John Biggs is quoted as saying:

“It’s an excellent tourist attraction and will be effective at putting east London on the tourist map. I’ll welcome it if it happens, but it could never be part of the transport network.”

“There’s a massive shortage of river crossings, and we need at least one road crossing over the Thames here. The cable car is an attractive bit of kit, but it falls between two stools.”

It’s hard not to see Mr. Biggs’ viewpoint as somewhat narrow and his comments invite at least three major questions:

One: Why could it never be a part of the transport network? Why can a city that blends subways, double-decker buses and light rail not also incorporate a gondola or cable car system?

Is London incapable of accomplishing what Caracas, Medellin and several Algerian cities have already done?

Two: There is a shortage of above-ground river crossings in East London. Adding the cable car (gondola) increases the number of East London river crossings from zero to one. How then is this a bad thing?

Three: There’s no argument that East London requires at least one road crossing over the Thames. But such a crossing was estimated to cost £500m and could never have been completed in time for the Olympics – a prime impetus behind the cable car (gondola).

Why then view the cable car (gondola) and road crossing as competitors and mutually exclusive items? Just because one is built, that doesn’t necessarily mean the other won’t be, does it?

Why can the cable car (gondola) not be a first step towards getting the road crossing East London so clearly needs and deserves?

Why does it have to be one or the other? Can’t it be both?



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24
Mar

2011

The London Thames Cable Car / Aerial Tram / Gondola / Whatever

Alright. I know I complain about the nomenclature issue a lot, but this is getting ridiculous.

Planetizen published the following update on the approved London Thames Cable Car (Gondola):

London Approves Aerial Tram Over River

An aerial gondola system will be built over the Thames River in London ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“Expected to complete by July 2012, the cable cars would run 50m above the water and, according to Mayor Boris Johnson, would be ‘as good as a bus route with 30 buses on it’.

Johnson, said: ‘With permissions signed and sealed we are now a significant step closer to being able to cruise the east London skyline via an elegant cable car spanning the mighty Thames.'”

Officials estimate that the gondola system will be capable of transporting 2,500 people per hour over the river.

I’m not going to bother breaking it down for people. It’s pretty straightforward. A Gondola is this; an Aerial Tram is this and; a Cable Car is either this or this. They are different. This wasn’t my decision, it’s just the way it’s been for decades.

Gondola, Aerial Tram and Cable Car are not synonyms for the same technology. And every time they’re used as synonyms, it only complicates matters for people who are actually trying to understand the technology.

Planetizen should know better.



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