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Boris "Looking At" Extending Cable Car

Tuesday 1st July 2014

The Mayor of London has defended the controversial cable car that links the Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks and also admitted they have considered extending it.


To celebrate the first anniversary of Ask Boris, Boris Johnson's monthly LBC show, the Mayor and Nick Ferrari presented from high above the Thames on the Emirates Airline.

During the show Boris was forced to defend the crossing against accusations of falling passenger numbers.

He also denied that the cable car cost 60 million, saying that figure included contingency plans before the crossing had been built.

"A great deal of that, as you know, was raised in sponsorship, I think 36 million," he commented.

"Actually the difference between the cable car and any other transport mode in the whole of London is that this thing already covers its cost." 

Caller Richard suggested that the cable car might be more popular if it went to something such as the Westfield in Stratford. "It doesn't go anywhere," he said of the current state of the crossing.

"We have been looking at that," the Mayor replied.

"When the European Commissioner for regional funding, we got some of our money back as it were, because you remember we contribute a huge amount of money to the EU budget and so you have to fight to get funds back.

"We got some funding for this cable car from Brussels and the guy came over to have a look at it and he was so thrilled, he said 'why don't we do another?' That was his immediate reaction, he thought it was a great regeneration project.

"We could look at that, I think," he added.

"Just to get back to the point that it doesn't really go anywhere, in the 18th century, early 19th century Jane Austen was writing novels in which she would describe this remote village to the north of London called Highbury, where nobody went to.

"The argument is that what people think of as nowhere in one generation can become the centre of a fantastic to live in the next generation."

Despite his passionate defence of the cable car, when quizzed by Nick Ferrari the Mayor of London was unable to say exactly how much it cost to travel on.

"It is cheap as chips," Boris responded when asked how much a cash single fare would set a passenger back.

"Hilary, tell Nick how much a cash single fare is," he continued, turning to his adviser.

"Is it about four quid or something? It is.... we've got the figures just here... God," he stalled. "It's four quid, we think it's four quid."

A single cash fare is 4.40.

The Mayor was then asked about the cost on an Oyster Card.

"A child would cost 2.20, a one round trip fare is 4.40, an adult boarding pass is 8.16, now that's fantastic, that enables you to go round and round and round," he said, reeling off the numbers from a sheet of paper.

"I think it's very good value for money, this is the most beautiful view in the whole of the city, I think it's absolutely stupefying. Earth hath not anything to show more fair," he said before pointing out landmarks including "the Walkie Talkie with its Aztec death ray."