Mae hwn yn fersiwn HTML o atodiad i'r cais Rhyddid Gwybodaeth 'Emirates Air Line Business Case - Unredacted'.

 
 
Cable car need and business case 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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CONTENTS 
 
Executive summary .................................................................................................... 3 
1.  Introduction .......................................................................................................... 5 
2.  Analysis of need .................................................................................................. 6 
3.  Planning context .................................................................................................. 8 
4.  Transport Challenges and Opportunities ........................................................... 14 
5.  Local constraints ................................................................................................  25 
6.  Option assessment for Greenwich Peninsula pedestrian / cycle crossings ....... 29 
7.  Business case.................................................................................................... 50 
8.  Conclusions ....................................................................................................... 61 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
In November 2008, following his decision not to pursue plans for the Thames 
Gateway Bridge, the Mayor asked TfL to review the provision of crossings 
over the River Thames between Tower Bridge and the Dartford crossing, to 
inform the Mayor's updated Transport Strategy. 
TfL has undertaken an analysis of the need for improved river crossings for all 
users of transport services, including road users as well as pedestrians and 
cyclists. 
This report focuses on the results of analysis of existing cross-river travel 
options for pedestrians and cyclists.  
This report has reviewed the need for improved cross-river connectivity in east 
London, and found that: 
•  The strategic plans for London envisage a high level of new development 
in east London, including areas close to the River Thames in Tower 
Hamlets, Greenwich and Newham; 
•  Investment in rail links has provided many new opportunities to access 
regeneration areas in the east London, but the Greenwich Peninsula in 
particular is forecast to host significant development but is dependent on a 
single rail station and line; 
•  A new link to the Royal Docks would provide much greater resilience to 
the Greenwich Peninsula, encouraging investment to bring new jobs and 
homes to the area, and would link two areas of potential complementary 
growth. 
 
A range of potential options has been considered to address the need for 
improved crossings, and a cable car has the potential to provide a new 
crossing from the Greenwich Peninsula, which meets the geographic 
constraints at a much lower cost than a footbridge, and would deliver 
pedestrians and cyclists to the area around Royal Victoria, which provides 
opportunities for complementary development linking the leisure hubs of the 
O2 Arena and ExCeL.  
Furthermore, a cable car would be an innovative scheme offering a 
spectacular view of London’s Docklands, and is likely to provide a point of 
interest for those already visiting the O2 Arena and ExCeL, making these 
more attractive destinations for events. In addition, it is likely to attract some 
new visitors to the area, who would be likely to visit other local attractions; this 
would create new secondary jobs in the local area.  
The cost of the cable car is significantly less than a footbridge, and its ability 
to attract users who are visiting the O2 Arena or ExCeL, or especially to visit 
the cable car, allows revenues from these visitors to contribute to scheme 
costs. It is also likely to attract secondary revenue from sponsorship 
opportunities, due to its innovative nature and high profile location on the 
Rover Thames.  

 

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If opened prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, it would also be of major benefit 
in handling the crowds visiting the O2 Arena and ExCeL for events.  
The central case has a Benefit : Cost Ratio of 2.7:1, delivering transport 
benefits (captured within this business case) and wider economic benefits 
(which are not captured within this ratio).   
Given the uncertainties around demand and impacts, the scheme impacts 
should be monitored, and the operations and fare structures kept under 
review, to ensure that the right balance is maintained between delivering local 
benefits and providing overall value for money for TfL.  
 

 

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1.  INTRODUCTION 
 
Purpose of report 
1.1. 
In November 2008, following his decision not to pursue plans for the Thames 
Gateway Bridge, the Mayor asked TfL to review the provision of crossings 
over the River Thames between Tower Bridge and the Dartford crossing, to 
inform the Mayor's updated Transport Strategy. 
1.2. 
TfL has undertaken an analysis of the need for improved river crossings for all 
users of transport services, including road users as well as pedestrians and 
cyclists. 
1.3.  This report focuses on the results of analysis of existing cross-river travel 
options for pedestrians and cyclists, in particular in the area around the 
Greenwich Peninsula, which is experiencing a particularly high level of growth 
and has a very high dependence on only a single station and rail service.  
1.4. 
Wider cross-river travel issues and options, including those of highway users, 
will be presented in a separate report.  
 
Scope of report 
1.5. 
TfL made the following assumptions in its analysis: 
•  The study area covers all parts of the east sub-region which are, or are 
potentially, affected by issues related to Thames river crossing provision 
between Tower Bridge and the boundary of the Greater London Authority 
(GLA) area 
•  The study period extends to 2031 - the planning horizon of the London 
Plan and the Mayor's Transport Strategy 
 
 

 

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2.  ANALYSIS OF NEED 
 
Background  
2.1. 
While there are many river crossings over the Thames in central London and 
in the west of the city1, until relatively recently it had not proved attractive to 
provide more than a few to the east. The river is substantially wider 
downstream of Tower Bridge than to the west and fixed crossings require 
either tunnelling or bridging with high clearances to accommodate shipping, 
which raises costs. For centuries this gave areas to the west an advantage in 
transport terms and this was reflected in patterns of land use and 
development.  
2.2. 
While higher value, more prestigious activities clustered in the relatively more 
accessible areas, industrial and dock related activities, which required a 
cheaper supply of land, were attracted to the east. Neither these activities, nor  
the communities of workers which grew up around them, had high demand for 
cross river travel and differentials in land values and patterns of development 
between west and east became entrenched. 
2.3. 
Economic and social conditions changed in the decades following World War 
II with the decline or disappearance of most of the traditional industries which 
line the eastern section of the Thames in London. The population in London’s 
east sub-region2 declined from almost 2.5 million in 1939 to about 1.75 million 
in 1991. During this period many of the docks and large industrial sites 
alongside the river were abandoned. The barrier effect of the river and the 
poor physical permeability of the sites which lined it meant these sites were 
generally isolated and unattractive for alternative uses. As a result large 
swathes of the Docklands lay derelict for several decades.  
2.4.  Regeneration over the last 20 years has transformed much of the former 
Docklands and many of the previously derelict sites now have successful new 
uses. This has been accompanied by a diversification of the economic base 
and a substantial increase in employment in the area. Clusters of specialist 
activities have emerged. For example, many high value services3 which would 
formerly have been confined to the Central Activities Zone (CAZ) are now 
based in Canary Wharf, while a major concert arena (the O2 Arena) on the 
Greenwich Peninsula and an international conference centre (ExCeL) at the 
Royal Victoria Dock have also been established. 
2.5.  Despite the substantial regeneration which has taken place, London’s east 
sub-region continues to suffer the consequences of its earlier economic and 
social dislocation and there are persistent pockets of severe deprivation and 
                                                 
1 There are 23 road and / or footbridges over the Thames within the GLA boundary of which Tower 
Bridge is the easternmost. There are two road tunnels and two foot tunnels under the Thames within 
the GLA area all of which are to the east of Tower Bridge. A further major river crossing is provided by 
the Woolwich Free Ferry.  
2 This comprises the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Barking & Dagenham, 
Havering, Redbridge, Lewisham, Greenwich, and Bexley.  
3 Including major bank headquarters,  business service firms and media organisations 

 

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environmental degradation. A decisive aspect of London’s winning bid for the 
Olympic and Paralympic Games was the transformative effect the Games 
would have in areas of deprivation in the host boroughs. The host boroughs 
have made a commitment to achieving convergence of key economic, social 
and environmental indicators with those of the rest of London through 
securing, and building on, the legacy of the Games.  
2.6. 
Furthermore, over the course of the next twenty years London’s population is 
expected to grow by almost 880,000 people and employment by 655,000. The 
former Dockland areas are needed to accommodate much of this growth, with 
over half of London’s total population growth forecast in the east sub-region 
alone.  
2.7. 
There has been a fundamental and permanent change in the role of the areas 
which line the Thames in London’s east. Rather than being London’s 
backyard they have become key to the Mayor and others’ vision of the city’s 
future, as poles of growth and development. If they are to fulfil this central role 
in addressing London’s challenges it is vital that their potential is unlocked and 
it is in this context that the case for the cable car is made. 

 



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3.  PLANNING CONTEXT 
 
Background 
3.1.  The regeneration of the former docklands has taken place within the context 
of broader historic population and employment trends in London. While there 
were population declines in all of London’s regions in the decades following 
World War II, the decline in the east was more precipitous than in other areas.  
3.2.  Since 1991 there have been increases in population in all of London’s sub-
regions and these are projected to continue until the end of the London Plan’s 
planning horizon in 2031. Over the course of the next twenty years London’s 
population is expected to grow by almost 880,000 people and employment by 
655,000. Furthermore, within this total, the east is expected to experience 
much stronger growth than other sub-regions, as shown in Figure 3.1 below.  
There is a similar pattern with regard to employment growth. 
 
Figure 3.1: Development of population 1931 to present and projections to 2031 in 
London’s sub-regions  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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3.3.  The Thames-side inner London boroughs are expected to experience 
particularly high population and employment growth as shown in the Tables 
3.1 and 3.2 below.  
Table 3.1: Forecast development of population in east sub-region 
 
Resident Population: 
2011 
2031 
% growth  
 
Tower Hamlets 
   248,700
   313,836  
26.2%
Newham 267,900
326,599 
21.9%
 
Greenwich 
 238,100 
 289,253  
21.5%
 
Bexley 
 217,400 
 226,752  
4.3%
 
Hackney 231,490 
261,886 
13.1%
Havering 231,585 
262,243 
13.2%
 
Barking & Dagenham 
177,850 
219,827 
23.6%
 
Redbridge 258,751 
276,834 
 
7.0%
 
Lewisham 
272,702 314,861 
  15.5%
 
 
 
 Greater London 
 7,806,800 
 8,684,468  
11.2%
 
Source: GLA 2009 Round (Revised) London Plan Population Projections (August 2010), GLA 
 
Table 3.2: Forecast development of employment in east sub-region 
 
Employment forecasts: 
2011
2031 
% growth
Tower Hamlets 
227,000
301,000  
32.6%
 
Newham 88,000
107,000 
 
21.6%
 
Greenwich 80,000
87,000 
 
8.8%
 
Bexley 74,000
79,000 
 
6.8%
Hackney 95,000
111,000 
16.8%
 
Havering 83,000
89,000 
 
7.2%
 
Barking & Dagenham 
51,000
56000  
9.8%
 
Redbridge 74,000
81,000 
 
9.5%
Lewisham 77,000
83,000 
 
7.8%
 
 
 
Greater London 
4,797,000
5,452,000 
13.7%
 
Source: GLA Borough Employment Projections, 2009, GLA 
 

 

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Role of Opportunity Areas 
3.4. 
The Mayor’s general approach to the development and use of land in London 
as set out in the London Plan4 is “not simply to support and welcome growth 
but to ensure that it contributes positively to the quality of life in London and to 
enable it to take place within its current boundaries without encroaching on 
the Green Belt or on London’s open spaces, [and without] having 
unacceptable impacts on the environment.” The Plan goes on to state that: “In 
spatial terms this will mean renewed attention to the large areas of unused 
land in east London where there is both the potential and need for 
development and regeneration.”         
3.5.  The London Plan therefore identifies London’s reservoir of brownfield land 
and particularly the larger sites in the east as the key to accommodating its 
growth requirements over the next 20 years. The east sub region contains 14 
Opportunity Areas and Areas for Intensification, accounting for 27 percent of 
London’s overall land use potential. The east sub-region’s Opportunity Areas / 
Areas for Intensification are shown in Figure 3.2 below.  
 
Figure 3.2: Opportunity Areas in east sub-region and locations of the O2 Arena and 
ExCeL 

 
 
 
 
3.6. 
The indicative employment capacities and indicative capacities for new homes 
in the east sub-region are shown in Figure 3.3 below. The combined minimum 
                                                 
4 Consultation Draft Replacement London Plan , 2009 
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number of new homes in the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula is 24,500 
and the combined employment capacity is 13,000. 
 
Figure 3.3: Indicative employment capacities and minimum new homes in east sub 
region Opportunity Areas 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Source: “Developing a Sub-Regional Transport Plan: Interim report on 
challenges and opportunities,” February 2010 

 
3.7. 
The London Plan provides strategic policy direction for each Opportunity Area: 
•  For the Greenwich Peninsula the strategic policy direction gives 
recognition to two key strategic roles: as an internationally significant 
leisure attraction and as a major contributor to meeting London’s need for 
additional housing. It also notes that river paths, parks and squares should 
become part of the wider East London Green Grid “with potential to 
improve pedestrian and cycle linkages from the O2 to Greenwich town 
centre.”  
•  For the Royal Docks the key issues which the strategic policy direction 
identifies include maximising the benefits of the Crossrail station at 
Custom House and capitalising on the success of ExCeL and its potential 
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as a focus for further visitor / business related growth. It also notes that the 
management of safeguarded wharves including scope for consolidation 
will be an important issue in realising the potential of these sites. 
•  On the Isle of Dogs the strategic policy is for continued major employment-
based regeneration, with Crossrail providing much greater peak period 
capacity and new connections to allow the Canary Wharf business centre 
to grow further, supported by additional residential development.  
 
3.8. 
The draft replacement London Plan also designates the Greenwich Peninsula 
as part of a Strategic Cultural Area, Greenwich Riverside. This policy aims to 
support and build upon the peninsula’s existing cultural offer, anchored by the 
O2 Arena, and is the only such designation in the eastern half of London.  
Figure 3.4 – draft London Plan Map 4.2 London’s Strategic Cultural Areas 
 
 
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3.9. 
In addition, the Greenwich Peninsula and Isle of Dogs are both designated as 
sub-regionally important centres for London’s night time economy, as shown 
below.  
Figure 3.5 – draft London Plan Map 4.3 London’s night time economy 
 
 
Royal Docks Enterprise Zone 
3.10.  In 2011, the Government announced the creation of a number of Enterprise 
Zones around the country to encourage growth in key regeneration areas. The 
Royal Docks was selected within the first batch of zones, and will enjoy 
measures to foster inward investment and job creation. The final details of 
how the enterprise zone will operate, including its precise boundary, have yet 
to be confirmed at the time of writing.  
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4. 
TRANSPORT CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES 
 
Policy Background 
4.1. 
The Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) is written to support the London Plan. 
The transport vision which drives it is that “London’s transport system should 
ExCeL among those of world cities, providing access to opportunities for all its 
people and enterprises, achieving the highest environmental standards and 
leading the world in its approach to tackling urban transport challenges of the 
21st century.”  
4.2.  To achieve the vision, the MTS sets out a series of goals, challenges and 
proposed outcomes.  Further detail is provided at the sub-regional level in a 
sub-regional transport plan for the east (east SRTP) which TfL published in 
November 2010. There are a number of policies of relevance to transport 
serving the Royal Docks and the Greenwich Peninsula Opportunity Areas.  
4.3.  The MTS sets out the framework within which London’s transport problems 
should be analysed. Within London five levels of transport demand are 
distinguished: international, national, regional, sub-regional and local. The 
MTS states that it is essential that the “...the nature, location and scale of the 
transport issues arising at each of these levels” are addressed.  
4.4.  Defining the structure of London’s transport geography at each of these 
levels, through the identification of networks of multi modal strategic transport 
corridors, gateways and interchanges was important in designing the strategy. 
The analysis in this chapter reflects this structure, with the regional and sub-
regional transport network serving the area considered separately from the 
local transport network. Firstly, however, a set of overarching transport related 
issues are identified which transcend the different levels of transport 
geography. 
 
Overarching issues 
4.5. 
There are a number of transport related issues which do not apply to specific 
levels of network, but which apply to all transport interventions under 
consideration. In summary: 
•  an important aspect of meeting the population and employment challenge 
is the potential for encouraging sustainable travel which focusing 
development on Opportunity Areas provides. This includes making such 
areas attractive to people within the context of low car ownership and use; 
•  transport should promote quality of life through aiming to improve local air 
quality, reduce noise impacts, enhance the natural and built environment 
and improve health outcomes particularly through encouraging more 
walking and cycling; 
•  increasing use of sustainable modes helps achieve the Mayor’s climate 
change reduction targets; 
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•  an important aspect of achieving the Mayor’s vision is improving transport 
opportunities for all through both improving accessibility to services, 
particularly amongst deprived communities and improving the physical 
accessibility of the transport system.  
 
Regional and sub-regional transport  
4.6.  It was recognised at an early stage that the successful regeneration of the 
Docklands would require the area’s historic poor accessibility to be 
addressed. Consequently there has been massive investment in new or 
upgraded infrastructure in the past 20 years or so.  
4.7.  Major road schemes have included the Limehouse Link and upgrades of the 
A12 and A135 and A20 which have provided better strategic radial access to 
many of the Opportunity Areas in the east, although cross river road capacity 
has not been improved west of the M25. Road congestion and unreliability 
remain a huge issue for the Blackwall Tunnel, the only road crossing between 
the Rotherhithe Tunnel and the Dartford Crossings.  
4.8.  As a result, although it directly serves the Greenwich Peninsula its efficiency 
and effectiveness for all levels of trip is severely compromised.  
4.9. 
A much enhanced rail network serving the Opportunity Areas now exists and 
this investment has been successful at integrating key locations into London’s 
regional transport network and providing the capacity both for the 
development of both major employment centres such as Canary Wharf and 
large visitor attractions such as O2 and ExCeL.  
4.10.  Figure 4.1 shows the existing and planned network of lines and interchanges 
(with committed investment to 2018) which link the Opportunity Areas in 
London’s east at the regional and sub-regional level.  
 
 
                                                 
5 The A20 was upgraded in the 1980s 
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Figure 4.1 Rail connections between Opportunity Areas in east sub-region 
 
 
4.11.  In the case of the Greenwich Peninsula, the Jubilee line extension was critical 
to regeneration since, as Figure 4.1 shows, the area was remote from high 
capacity (i.e. rail based) public transport alternatives. It is particularly 
constrained by its geography since the Thames acts as a barrier on two sides. 
The Jubilee line provided an excellent solution by creating two high capacity 
new river crossings and this allowed large numbers of people to access the 
area from across London. However this also resulted in an unusually high 
degree of dependence on a single Underground line.  
4.12. The accessibility of the area therefore deteriorates severely during 
interruptions to line service. The main alternative routes for crossing the river 
are the single bus route which goes through Blackwall Tunnel, which is itself 
very congested, river boats and buses to Greenwich for the DLR, which 
neither individually nor in combination provides an adequate solution. As an 
example, whereas there is relatively little delay for O2 visitors following the 
end of evening events when the Jubilee line is in normal operation, there can 
be a delay of up to 40 minutes for visitors leaving the site at other times.   
4.13.  The best solution for improving the resilience of the regional and sub-regional 
transport network in serving the Greenwich Peninsula would be for a new high 
capacity transport route to serve the area directly. However there are no 
realistic proposals for this at present and it is unlikely that any will be 
forthcoming during the next twenty years.  
4.14.  However, a ‘next best’ and far more cost effective solution could be provided if 
an independent means of accessing the Royal Docks could be provided since 
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this area is connected to the regional transport network independently of the 
Jubilee line through the DLR at Royal Victoria and Custom House, as shown 
in Figure 4.1 above. Furthermore the area will be served from 2018 by 
Crossrail which will provide massive additional capacity and connectivity to 
the area.    
4.15.  It is clear that the Mayor’s strategic policy for the Greenwich Peninsula of 
supporting it as an internationally significant leisure attraction (see Chapter 3) 
requires high quality regional and sub-regional transport. The above analysis 
indicates that there is a strategic weakness in provision at this level resulting 
from the area’s excessive reliance on the Jubilee line and that there is a clear 
rationale for a new link between the area and the Royal Docks where there is 
alternative high quality access to the regional and sub-regional public 
transport network.  
 
Local transport 
4.16.  The Mayor’s Transport Strategy notes that local transport networks provide for 
trips to work, visit friends, go shopping, access local amenities and other 
services including health facilities. They are important if local services are to 
be planned efficiently and if London’s districts are to be properly integrated 
with each other.  Clearly where local transport shares infrastructure with 
regional and sub-regional networks it is not independent of problems 
elsewhere and may suffer because such infrastructure is not designed 
specifically to meet local needs. 
4.17.  One of the issues that has emerged with the regeneration of Docklands is the 
perception that locations such as the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal 
Docks remain relatively isolated from the established communities which 
surround them, many of which are amongst the most deprived in the UK. 
Equally, as residential locations some Opportunity Areas are perceived as 
lacking in the range of local services and facilities associated with many more 
established areas. This suggests that despite the investment which has taken 
place in regional and sub-regional transport networks, more local needs may 
in some cases have been neglected to date. 
4.18.  The issue is exacerbated by the presence of the River Thames and aspects of 
the industrial and docks legacy of the area. Since industrial and dock related 
activities in the east generally occupied large sites, permeability of these 
areas at the local level was relatively low. This suited the commercial activities 
which once took place for which security of goods was paramount, but less 
favourable for the establishment of well functioning new communities.  
4.19.  Nevertheless as these areas have been redeveloped earlier land use patterns 
have in some cases survived, particularly where development has been 
piecemeal, and permeability often remains low. As a result the barrier effect of 
the river is often compounded by an additional barrier caused by the historic 
activities which grew up alongside it. 
 
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Thames Peninsulas  
4.20.  The River Thames creates peninsulas within inner east / south east London, 
which have the Thames on three sides and therefore limited local transport 
options to adjacent – but cross-river – communities, depending instead on 
new rail links to support major development of surface links.  
4.21.  As this area was the heart of London’s now closed Docklands, this area has 
been the heart of the new intensive development, which has lead to a large 
increase in the number of people living, working and visiting the peninsulas. 
 
Figure 4.2 – London Docklands development phases, with the River Thames as a 
barrier between developments 

 
 
4.22.  The peninsulas can be seen in the image above, with prominent peninsulas 
enjoying rapid growth but enjoying no surface links to adjacent areas across 
the river. These are described below, from west to east.   
 
Rotherhithe 
4.23.  The Rotherhithe peninsula is the westernmost peninsula within the study area. 
It is south of the Thames in the London Borough of Southwark, and bounded 
by the river on its northern and eastern sides, and by Greenland Dock to the 
south.   
4.24.  Until the 1990s its transport connections were relatively poor, with the East 
London underground line providing the only rail service (and for an extended 
period in the 1990s, even this was closed for tunnel reconstruction works). 
Since then, the Jubilee line has provided a new station in the heart of the 
area, with direct trains to both central London and Canary Wharf and points 
east.  
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4.25.  In 2010, after a period of works, the East London line re-opened as part of the 
extended London Overground network, offering more services to more 
destinations.  
Figure 4.3 – Rotherhithe peninsula fixed link transport options 
 
 
4.26.  The area therefore has two good rail services which offer alternative modes of 
transport to a range of destinations. While there was disruption in the course 
of the construction of these improved links, the local resilience is now very 
good; in the event of a closure on one line, there is an alternative service 
which can be used to make alternative journeys.  
 
Isle of Dogs 
4.27.  The Isle of Dogs is on the northern bank of the Thames within the borough of 
Tower Hamlets, and up to the 1980s had very poor public transport links. In 
1987 the DLR radically transformed transport in the area by providing a 
service through the heart of the island and into the edge of the City. 
Nevertheless, with a dependence on only a single line, the fledgling Canary 
Wharf development suffered from a lack of resilience, with any disruption on 
the DLR potentially stopping workers from arriving at or leaving the area.  
4.28.  Canary Wharf was therefore instrumental in lobbying for, and in some cases 
funding, a series of improvements to the infrastructure, including higher 
capacity on the DLR and its extension to new areas including the heart of the 
City at Bank, and most notably in extending the Jubilee line through Canary 
Wharf to central London, North Greenwich and stations to Stratford.  
4.29.  In addition, at the southern end of the island, there is a foot tunnel to 
Greenwich, which provides a means to leave the peninsula and access other 
places on foot or cycle, or access alternative transport options.  
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4.30.  From 2018, Crossrail will be added to the transport options on the Isle of 
Dogs, with direct trains from Canary Wharf to a range of destinations including 
central London and Heathrow. The station box at Canary Wharf is being 
funded by Canary Wharf Group, given the importance of building additional 
rail capacity and resilience to allow for the planned growth in employment.  
Figure 4.4 – Isle of Dogs peninsula fixed link transport options 
 
 
4.31.  As a result of this investment in new lines, there is a high level of resilience for 
the Isle of Dogs; in the event of planned or unplanned closure of one of these 
links, there are alternative transport options available, which will only increase 
with the arrival of Crossrail. 
 
Greenwich Peninsula 
4.32. The Greenwich Peninsula lies on the southern side of the Thames, and again 
had very poor transport connections until recent years. Since 1999, the 
Jubilee line has provided services to the west and north from North Greenwich 
station, which has supported the construction the O2 Arena (originally the 
Millennium Dome), a new commercial district around the station, and the first 
phases of what will become a very large residential district.  
4.33.  The area has a planned employment capacity of 7,000 jobs, residential 
capacity of 13,500 homes (or over 25,000 people), and the leisure elements of 
the O2 Arena can attract large crowds of over 20,000 for Arena events as well 
as customers for the associated attractions including restaurants and 
cinemas.  
4.34.  Unlike both Rotherhithe and the Isle of Dogs, the Greenwich Peninsula has 
only a single rail link, in the form of the Jubilee line. Other transport options 
are provided by buses, with one route – the 108 – crossing the Thames by 
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way of the Blackwall tunnel, but the capacity of buses to carry passengers 
across the Thames is limited, and certainly not sufficient to meet demand in 
the event of the Jubilee line being unavailable.  
4.35.  Pedestrians and cyclists cannot cross the Thames in this vicinity as the 
Blackwall tunnel is restricted to motor vehicles.  
Figure 4.5 – Greenwich Peninsula fixed link transport options 
 
 
4.36.  Line disruption or engineering works on the Jubilee line thus have a very 
significant effect on passengers seeking to access or leave the area, with 
insufficient bus capacity to disperse either peak period or event crowds. The 
2,600 capacity nightclub Matter, formerly within the O2 at North Greenwich, 
cited Jubilee line engineering works as a major factor in its closure in 2010.  
4.37. While this cannot be certain, and occurred at a time of considerable 
engineering work to re-signal the line, it demonstrates that a lack of resilience 
and alternative travel options can have a negative effect in the local area, 
where the physical geography hinders the provision of alternative public 
transport options as well as simply walking and cycling.  
4.38.  Even when the Jubilee line is in normal service, local connectivity between the 
Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks is relatively poor for pedestrians 
and in particular for cyclists, considering the areas’ geographic proximity to 
one another and potentially complementary development. The Jubilee line 
provides no direct connection between the two areas, and interchange with 
DLR services is required at Canning Town, adding inconvenience, 
dependence on two lines, and adding a second wait for a train of potentially 
several minutes each.  
 
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Royal Docks 
4.39.  The peninsula nature of the Royal Docks is less pronounced, as the Thames 
is straighter in this section giving a long connection between the Royal Docks 
area and the residential areas to the north, Canning Town and Beckton. 
However, the area is assessed here because it formed an intergral part of 
London’s Docklands and therefore has a very large amount of available 
development land, as discussed in the previous section.  
Figure 4.7 – Royal Docks fixed link transport options 
 
 
4.40. Until the early 1990s, the Royal Docks had only one rail link, the low 
frequency North London line from North Woolwich to Stratford and beyond 
through north London. 
4.41.  In 1994 the DLR extension to Beckton opened, providing a new light rail 
service along the northern edge of the Royal Docks to Canning Town and on 
to central London and (via interchange) Canary Wharf. In 2005 a further 
section of the DLR opened along the southern side of the Royal Docks to City 
Airport, with a final extension to Woolwich Arsenal opening in 2009, providing 
a new river crossing to south east London.  
4.42.  The North London line closed through the Royal Docks in 2006 to allow new 
DLR services from Canning Town to Stratford, providing new connections and 
a higher frequency on existing DLR routes through the area from 2011. In 
2018, part of the route will be re-used for the new Crossrail services, which 
will provide services from Abbey Wood and Woolwich in south east London to 
Canary Wharf, central London and beyond, via Custom House.  
4.43.  The area will therefore have a good connections to centres of employment, 
and to the wider transport network within London.  
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4.44. Certain local links, however, are poorer, and are not provided with the current 
network. The cross-river links to Woolwich are increasingly good, but there is 
no direct link to the Greenwich Peninsula, lying to the south-west of the Royal 
Docks.  
4.45. Given the presence of potentially complementary development on the 
Greenwich Peninsula, provision of a link to this area could help local 
businesses in the Royal Docks; for example, both the O2 Arena and ExCeL 
host many major events, and each have associated restaurants, hotels, and 
bars to service these visitors. In both cases these are very busy on event 
days, but relatively under-utilised when there are no events. The transport 
networks on both sides are inevitably very busy when handling irregular but 
very large crowds for these events.  
4.46.  There would be clear synergies by providing a direct link between the two 
areas, both to assist in transport to and from events, but also to encourage 
local employment in the complementary development which could be spurred 
by the creation of a single ‘hub’ of leisure-related activities.  
 
River Thames as a barrier to cycling 
4.47.  Whilst the new rail links described above allow for pedestrians to cross the 
Thames as public transport passengers, cyclists are not generally able to use 
these links, as they travel in deep tunnel where cycles cannot be carried.  
4.48.  Cyclists can cross at the Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels, providing a 
route into and out of the Isle of Dogs and Royal Docks. From the Greenwich 
Peninsula, these routes are some distance away, and make cycling a poor 
alternative (in journey time terms) to public transport. Providing a new cross-
river link from the Greenwich Peninsula that cyclists can use could unlock 
cycling as a much more attractive mode from this rapidly growing area. 
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Summary of local transport challenges 
4.49.  As noted above the Greenwich Peninsula is unusually severely constrained by 
its geography and is now very largely reliant on the Jubilee line for 
overcoming the barrier effect of the river on two sides. Furthermore cycles 
cannot be carried6  on the Jubilee line and the nearest alternative routes 
involve using either the Greenwich or Woolwich Foot Tunnels, which involves 
a diversion of several kilometres. 
4.50.  There are both resilience and connectivity issues at the local level to warrant 
better local transport links between the Greenwich Peninsula and the northern 
bank of the Thames, ideally towards the Royal Docks; while there are 
currently more trips the Isle of Dogs, a second link would duplicate the Jubilee 
line and would not create a new link for pedestrians, although it would provide 
a useful link for cyclists unable to use the Jubilee line.  
                                                 
6 Although folding bicycles are permitted 
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5. 
LOCAL CONSTRAINTS 
5.1.  The previous chapter has highlighted the strategic case for improving river 
crossings in the eastern part of London to help deliver the planned 
regeneration and accompanying employment and new homes. It also 
summarises the planned intensive development within the areas close to the 
Thames which have poor cross-river connectivity, and which would benefit 
from improvements.  
5.2.  A link from North Greenwich to the Royal Docks is most likely to provide a 
step change in transport connectivity and resilience for an area of major 
planned growth, and would be most likely to spur development by linking 
together to areas identified in the London Plan as sites with a high potential 
for development bringing in new residents and jobs.  
5.3. 
This section briefly looks more closely at these areas, identifying the physical 
constraints against which any proposals should be considered.  
 
Greenwich Peninsula  
5.4.  Within the Greenwich Peninsula, there are local constraints imposed by the 
existing, and consented, development currently under way. In 2003, the 
London Borough of Greenwich granted planning permission for a major 
regeneration scheme on the Greenwich Peninsula.  
5.5.  This application included detailed planning consent for the conversion of the 
then-closed Millennium Dome into a major new arena (now The O2), with 
ancillary uses including additional entertainment space, a cinema, restaurants 
and new public realm between North Greenwich London Underground station 
and The O2.  
5.6.  As part of the same application, outline consent was granted for the 
masterplan for a large part of the peninsula to the south-east of The O2, 
including new retail and office space around the station, and 10,000 new 
homes in residential districts to be built through a large part of the rest of the 
peninsula.  
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Figure 5.1 - Greenwich Peninsula masterplan 
 
 
5.7.  In addition, there is safeguarding in place for the construction of a road 
crossing, the Silvertown Crossing (area shown in red above). The 
safeguarding allows for the construction of the road link in either a bridge or 
tunnelled form. However, the development masterplan granted since the 
safeguarding was established allows for the construction of a dense urban 
quarter around the crossing route, including large blocks of residential units 
alongside the crossing corridor. As a result, a bridge option would not be 
acceptable locally; the London Borough of Greenwich’s adopted UDP states 
that: 
“Should this crossing proceed the Council will require a tunnel, not 
a bridge.” 

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Royal Docks 
5.8.  There are a number of sites which remain in industrial and commercial use 
between the Royal Victoria Dock and the Silvertown Riverfront including a site 
occupied by Laing O’Rourke and the Silvertown Quays area. These prevent 
easy pedestrian and cycle access between ExCeL and the Silvertown 
Riverfront despite the existence of a footbridge over the Royal Victoria Dock. 
In combination with the river this creates a double transport barrier between 
the core areas of the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks Opportunity 
Areas, as shown in Figure 5.2 below. 
 
Figure 5.2: Barriers to local transport between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal 
Docks 

 
 
5.9.  Redevelopment plans for the area have been under consideration by the 
London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC), Newham and 
the London Development Agency (LDA).  
5.10.  An illustrative masterplan for the area has been drawn up, with the area 
known as Thameside West. This has not been adopted, pending the outcome 
of the Royal Docks ‘Visioning’ exercise to consider strategic planning issues in 
the Royal Docks, but indicates a preference among some of the key 
stakeholders for a mixture of uses, including the retention of active wharfage, 
consolidation of the ancillary landside wharf uses, and the release of some 
land for high-density residential development.  
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Figure 5.3: Illustrative masterplan for Thameside West 
 
 
5.11.  It is unclear at the time of writing what impact the government’s proposed 
Enterprise Zone will have on development plans within the Royal Docks.  
 
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6. 
OPTION ASSESSMENT FOR GREENWICH PENINSULA PEDESTRIAN / 
CYCLE CROSSINGS  
 
Objectives 
6.1. 
Given the needs highlighted above, and the overall programme objectives, the 
following objectives have been used to consider options for addressing the 
pedestrian / cycle connectivity at the Greenwich Peninsula:  
•  To support the provision of public transport services in the London 
Thames Gateway 
•  To improve access to new rail links being provided in the area 
•  To integrate with local and strategic land use policies 
•  To ensure that any proposals are acceptable in principle to key 
stakeholders, including affected boroughs 
•  To provide attractive new walking and cycling links 
•  To support the needs of existing businesses in the area and to encourage 
new business investment  
•  To achieve value for money for TfL and the wider GLA 
 
6.2. 
The table below summarises how proposals will be considered against these 
objectives. 
Objectives Measure 
To support the provision of public transport 
Providing new transport options for public 
services in the London Thames Gateway 
transport passengers from North 
Greenwich 
To improve access to new rail links being 
Links to new rail services 
provided in the area 
To integrate with local and strategic land use 
Conformity with relevant policies and 
policies 
development plans 
To ensure that any proposals are acceptable in  Degree of support for proposals 
principle to key stakeholders, including 
affected boroughs 
To provide attractive new walking and cycling 
Quality of environment, and links to 
links 
strategic walking and cycling routes 
To support the needs of existing businesses in 
Impact of proposal on local businesses 
the area and to encourage new business 
investment  
To achieve value for money for TfL and the 
Assessment of financial impact on 
wider GLA 
TfL/GLA and Business Case 
 
 
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Scheme options 
6.3.  A range of options exist which could potentially address some or all of the 
objectives for reducing the problems of severance around the growing 
peninsula areas in east London, as well as the option of doing nothing and 
accepting the status quo. The options are assessed within this chapter, and 
include the following: 
• Do 
nothing; 
•  New/improved passenger ferries; 
•  New foot/cycle bridges; 
•  New cable car.  
 
Option: Do nothing 
6.4.  The current river crossing options in the area around Blackwall and North 
Greenwich are the Jubilee line, the Thames Clipper passenger boat services.  
Due to the geographical make up of the area and the growing level of homes, 
residents and jobs in North Greenwich, additional capacity is required as well 
as an increased resilience to the Jubilee line in the event of suspension or 
closure.  Under the do nothing scenario, increased crowding would be felt 
during peak hours for commuters as well as before and after events at the O2 
Arena and ExCeL. 
6.5. 
The table below summarises how the Do Nothing scenario measures against 
the objectives. 
 
Objectives Measure Do 
Nothing 
To support the provision of 
Providing new transport 
FAIL 
public transport services in the 
options for public transport 
London Thames Gateway 
passengers from North 
Greenwich 
To improve access to new rail 
Links to new rail services 
FAIL 
links being provided in the area 
To integrate with local and 
Conformity with relevant 
PASS – although it is 
strategic land use policies 
policies and development 
likely that poor 
plans 
resilience will 
discourage or slow 
planned regeneration 
schemes 
To ensure that any proposals are  Degree of support for 
NEUTRAL 
acceptable in principle to key 
proposals 
stakeholders, including affected 
boroughs 
To provide attractive new 
Quality of environment, and 
FAIL 
walking and cycling links 
links to strategic walking and 
cycling routes 
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Objectives Measure Do 
Nothing 
To support the needs of existing 
Impact of proposal on local 
NEUTRAL 
businesses in the area and to 
businesses 
encourage new business 
investment  
To achieve value for money for 
Assessment of financial 
PASS 
TfL and the wider GLA 
impact on TfL/GLA and 
Business Case 
 
6.6.  The Do Nothing option is clearly deliverable, but doing nothing would mean 
that the problems of resilience would remain, and become more pressing as 
the resident population, as well as commercial and leisure activity, continues 
to grow. This is likely to discourage inward investment to the area.  
 
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Option: New / improved passenger ferries 
6.7.  There is an existing passenger ferry service from North Greenwich which 
serves Canary Wharf, on the northern bank of the Thames. However, due to 
the location of piers this service operates from the eastern side of North 
Greenwich to the western side of Canary Wharf, with a journey time of 21 
minutes and relatively infrequent service.  
Figure 6.1 – Current route for Thames Clipper services from North Greenwich to 
Canary Wharf 

 
 
6.8.  The provision of new piers on the western side of North Greenwich and 
eastern side of Canary Wharf could allow a fast and frequent direct ferry to 
operate across the river, similar to the Rotherhithe (Hilton) ferry on the other 
side of Canary Wharf.   
6.9. 
A new pier on the western side of the Greenwich Peninsula is planned as part 
of the longer term development of the masterplan on this side of the 
peninsula; however there is no firm timetable for its construction. A new pier 
would be located some distance from the commercial centre of North 
Greenwich; at present the walking route is poor, although as part of the 
development of the peninsula this should in time change into a high quality 
route.  
6.10.  A new ferry pier on the northern bank would also be required to allow an 
effective cross-river service to be provided.  
6.11.  The key centres of activity on the northern bank are Canary Wharf, and the 
ExCeL area, and these are taken in turn below. 
6.12.  A link to Canary Wharf – avoiding the long route around the Isle of Dogs – 
would require a new pier on the eastern side of the Isle of Dogs. A potential 
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site has been identified next to a former entrance into the West India Docks. 
This has no planning history for use as a passenger pier and is relatively close 
to residential properties, but the PLA advise that the location is probably 
suitable for a passenger pier, and Thames Clippers believe that this location 
would pose few problems in terms of proximity to residents, based on their 
experience of other piers.  
6.13.  The pier would be located within a few hundred metres of Canary Wharf ‘as 
the crow flies’, but the walking route is poor; it is obstructed by Wood Wharf, 
which is currently light industrial but is planned over the next 15 years to be 
developed into a dense new commercial and residential district, with improved 
permeability for pedestrians.  
6.14.  Prior to the development of the two major sites impeding access on either 
bank – the western part of the Greenwich Peninsula on the south side, and 
Wood Wharf on the northern side – a cross-river ferry between these locations 
would entail a walk of around 10-15 minutes on each side through an area of 
– in some parts – poor quality. Even with a high frequency service of around 
every 10 minutes, it is clear that this would provide a very poor service in 
comparison to the Jubilee line which already links these two sites, and as a 
result would be likely to carry very few passengers.  
6.15.  With the cost of new piers and costs to operate the ferry, it is likely that this 
service would require both capital and operating subsidy.  
6.16.  In the medium term, the walking routes on both banks should be significantly 
enhanced, both in terms of environment, and in length, as new routes are 
opened up through new development. The new developments would 
themselves create an increase in trips to and from these development sites, 
which bring residents and employees closer to the river.  
6.17.  It is therefore likely that when these developments have been built, the case 
for a new cross-Thames passenger ferry will be much stronger.  
6.18.  Towards the Royal Docks, the main centre of activity is around the ExCeL 
estate. There are currently no passenger piers on the northern bank opposite 
the Greenwich Peninsula, although a small passenger pier once operated 
close to the former western entrance to the Victoria Dock. It is therefore likely 
that a new pier could be located here, which from a ferry perspective would be 
located conveniently opposite the existing North Greenwich pier.  
6.19.  From a passenger perspective, however, the northern bank of the Thames in 
this area is an unattractive destination, with industrial uses along the whole 
waterfront. Passengers arriving at a pier in this area would have a long walk to 
the centres of activity (either the ExCeL area, or a DLR station), and this walk 
would be of poor quality. It would not be an attractive facility and is not likely to 
attract passengers.  
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Figure 6.2 – potential cross-river passenger ferry routes 
 
 
6.20.  Figure 6.2 above highlights the two principal options described above, in red 
and blue. The yellow route indicates a potential hybrid option, utilising the 
existing pier on the southern side but a new Canary Wharf pier on the 
northern bank. While this addresses the problems with the pier location on the 
southern bank, it would also reduce the service frequency due to the longer 
route, and may therefore not improve the attractiveness of this option 
compares to the red route.  
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6.21.  The table below summarises how the main passenger ferry options measure 
against the objectives. 
 
Objectives Measure  New 
Canary 
Wharf 
New Royal Docks 
ferry 
ferry 
To support the 
Providing new 
NEUTRAL – it 
NEUTRAL – it 
provision of public 
transport options for 
provides a new 
provides a new 
transport services in 
public transport 
option, but one 
option, but one 
the London Thames 
passengers from 
which is not likely to 
which is not likely to 
Gateway 
North Greenwich 
meet a passenger 
meet a passenger 
demand due to 
demand due to 
overall journey time 
overall journey time 
and quality 
and quality 
To improve access to 
Links to new rail 
FAIL FAIL 
new rail links being 
services 
provided in the area 
To integrate with local 
Conformity with 
PASS PASS 
 
and strategic land use 
relevant policies and 
policies 
development plans 
To ensure that any 
Degree of support for  PASS PASS 
proposals are 
proposals 
acceptable in principle 
to key stakeholders, 
including affected 
boroughs 
To provide attractive 
Quality of 
FAIL FAIL 
new walking and 
environment, and 
cycling links 
links to strategic 
walking and cycling 
routes 
To support the needs 
Impact of proposal 
NEUTRAL NEUTRAL 
of existing businesses 
on local businesses 
in the area and to 
encourage new 
business investment  
To achieve value for 
Assessment of 
FAIL FAIL 
money for TfL and the 
financial impact on 
wider GLA 
TfL/GLA and 
Business Case 
 
6.22.  At present, the assessment suggests that while new passenger ferries would 
enjoy general support, they would not provide an attractive new transport 
option due to the poor walking routes. They are likely to require both a capital 
and operating subsidy by TfL.  
6.23.  However, in the longer term – and in particular when development on the 
Greenwich Peninsula has reached the western part of the peninsula and 
Wood Wharf has provided a good new link to Canary Wharf – this could well 
be a useful link.  
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6.24.  It is recommended that cross-river ferry options are not pursued as part 
of this programme, as these would not address the problems and provide an 
attractive new river crossing. However, in the longer term, when further 
development has taken place on both banks of the Thames, there may be a 
case for re-investigating the potential for a new cross-river facility to provide 
for Greenwich Peninsula to Canary Wharf local journeys, to relieve the Jubilee 
line by taking local cross-river trips, and providing a quick route to Canary 
Wharf for cyclists.  
 
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Option: New foot / cycle bridges  
6.25.  A new foot / cycle bridge could in theory be built, which would be strongly 
supported by the local boroughs as a means of better connecting the two 
sides of the Thames and encouraging walking and cycling.  
6.26.  Such a bridge could be beneficial in reducing demand on the Jubilee line on 
one-stop journeys into Canary Wharf and would be an iconic scheme, but it 
would be a high cost option and there are difficult navigational issues to 
address.  
6.27.  At this point of the river a very long span would be required to allow for turning 
ships, and would need to be at least 50 metres high. A lifting bridge at a sharp 
bend in the river would be problematic and opposed by the Port of London 
Authority, with regular closures to allowing shipping to pass, and addressing 
this issue would require either a fixed high bridge, which would be limited in 
capacity by lift access, or a transporter type bridge, with a low level gondola 
carried across the Thames.   
6.28.  The transporter concept is illustrated below; a non-transporter bridge would be 
of the same principles but without the carried gondola, and all users diverted 
by lifts to the high level walkway.  
Figure 6.3 – illustrative pedestrian / cycle transporter bridge 
 
 
6.29.  A bridge would need to connect the centre of activity at North Greenwich to a 
centre of activity on the northern side of the Thames, such as Canary Wharf 
or the ExCeL area. 
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Figure 6.4 – foot / cycle bridge options  
 
 
6.30.  The Figure above illustrates the potential locations of bridges to link to either 
the Isle of Dogs, or the Royal Docks. In both cases, issues related to the 
length and quality of the onward walking routes are similar to the passenger 
ferry options; with the route to Canary Wharf, development of this part of the 
Greenwich Peninsula and Wood Wharf on the northern side would be required 
to provide an attractive walking route. On the Royal Docks side, there is an 
area of industrial uses which separate the Thames from the centres of activity 
further inland.  
6.31.  In addition, there are issues about property and visual intrusion; while a 
floating pier close to the former entrance to the West India Docks would be at 
a low level and relatively unobtrusive for the adjoining residents, a bridge 
would entail a large and high structure in front of existing residences, which 
may cause more of a planning concern. 
6.32.  A bridge would have a high level of utility for pedestrians and cyclists, some 
types of bridge more than others; some delays would be encountered either 
waiting for lifts, or waiting for the gondola in the case of the transporter option. 
In particular, while feasible to charge pedestrians and cyclists for use of a 
bridge, it is likely to be difficult in practice to do so; it is not current practice at, 
for example, the Greenwich foot tunnel, nor at other modern bridges such as 
the Millennium Bridge. This, in terms of benefit to pedestrians and cyclists, is 
clearly a positive, and would therefore be more likely to attract users from the 
alternatives such as the Jubilee line. 
6.33.  However, a large bridge such as this which is accommodating shipping – by 
either having a lifting section, by utilising lifts, or operating as a transporter 
bridge – will have ongoing operating costs to cover in addition to the costs of 
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construction. As such it is likely to require ongoing operating, as well as 
capital, subsidy.  
6.34. In 2009 Hyder estimated the likely cost of foot/cycle bridge options. A 
transporter bridge was the cheapest at around £60M construction cost 
(current prices excluding optimism bias/contingency, project development, 
land, ship impact protection), a fixed level bridge accessed by lifts or 
escalators around £62M and £80M respectively, and a low-level lifting bridge 
around £80M. Project development and land rights costs would take the cost 
range to around £70M-£90M, and there would need to be a high level of risk 
at this stage given the uncertainties around design concepts.  
6.35.  The table below assesses foot/cycle bridge options against the objectives. For 
this purpose, the assumed scheme is a high-level bridge served by lifts. 
 
Objectives Measure  New 
Canary 
Wharf 
New Royal Docks 
bridge 
bridge 
To support the 
Providing new 
NEUTRAL – it 
NEUTRAL – it 
provision of public 
transport options for 
provides a new 
provides a new 
transport services in 
public transport 
option, but one 
option, but one 
the London Thames 
passengers from 
which is not likely to 
which is not likely to 
Gateway 
North Greenwich 
meet a passenger 
meet a passenger 
demand due to 
demand due to 
overall journey time 
overall journey time 
and quality of 
and quality of 
walking routes 
walking routes 
To improve access to 
Links to new rail 
FAIL FAIL 
new rail links being 
services 
provided in the area 
To integrate with local 
Conformity with 
PASS PASS 
 
and strategic land use 
relevant policies and 
policies 
development plans 
To ensure that any 
Degree of support for  PASS PASS 
proposals are 
proposals 
acceptable in principle 
to key stakeholders, 
including affected 
boroughs 
To provide attractive 
Quality of 
PASS NEUTRAL 
– 
new walking and 
environment, and 
attractive facility but 
cycling links 
links to strategic 
deposits users in 
walking and cycling 
industrial area 
routes 
To support the needs 
Impact of proposal 
PASS – better link 
NEUTRAL 
of existing businesses 
on local businesses 
between North 
in the area and to 
Greenwich and 
encourage new 
Canary Wharf likely 
business investment  
to encourage 
investment 
39 
 

TfL Planning  
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Objectives Measure  New 
Canary 
Wharf 
New Royal Docks 
bridge 
bridge 
To achieve value for 
Assessment of 
FAIL FAIL 
money for TfL and the 
financial impact on 
wider GLA 
TfL/GLA and 
Business Case 
 
6.36.  At present, the assessment suggests that a new foot / cycle bridge would 
provide a useful new crossing for some users, and would enjoy a high level of 
support. However, the walking routes on both sides of the Thames would 
need substantial improvement associated with developments for the 
environment to be of a high quality, and journey times – on foot though not by 
cycle – would be uncompetitive with the Jubilee line.  
6.37.  A bridge will require a very significant capital investment, and there would be 
an ongoing maintenance and operating cost associated with a high level or 
transporter bridge. There is little opportunity to recover these costs from 
users. 
6.38.  There would be significant planning obstacles in terms of location major 
bridge infrastructure close to residents on the Isle of Dogs route, and 
challenging constraints to meet PLA requirements in either case.  
6.39.  As a result, a foot/cycle bridge is not recommended for further work.  
40 
 


TfL Planning  
Cable car need and business case
 
Option: New cable car  
6.40.  A cable car system could potentially overcome some of the disadvantages of 
a foot / cycle bridge while still providing a convenient link for those on foot or 
travelling by cycle. It could traverse the Thames without the need for a long 
and heavy structure such as a bridge deck, allowing cost savings; it could link 
the key attractors more directly without the need for pedestrians to follow a 
long walk through industrial areas; it is an attractive proposition to seek 
commercial sponsorship and raise advertising revenue; and it would be 
possible to charge passengers for its use, thus making a contribution to 
maintenance and operating costs.  
6.41.  A cable car system could operate a large number of small gondolas with a 
capacity of over 2,000 passengers per hour per direction, with little or no 
waiting in normal operation. A crossing would take around 5-6 minutes.  
6.42.  Several route options from North Greenwich to the northern bank were 
considered; each route option was considered for its ability to serve a key 
attractor and/or a station, and for its ability to fit in with the considerable 
physical constraints. These are shown in the Figure below.  
Figure 6.5 – Potential cable car alignments and constraints 
 
 
6.43.  Constraints to be taken into account include: 
•  need to keep clear of navigational channels including accesses to docks 
(e.g. West India Dock); 
•  need to avoid impacting upon planned development sites; 
•  oversailing of buildings is very difficult, requiring land rights to be 
acquired (at a cost) for both oversailing rights and for rights of access to 
41 
 

TfL Planning  
Cable car need and business case
 
the property 24/7 for last resort emergency escape down to the property 
roof or private land/gardens;  
•  in addition fire protection requirements on any buildings close to the line 
are onerous, as a fire in a building below the system would have 
potentially serious consequences for passengers passing above; 
•  the planning obstacles of passing close (even if not over) existing 
buildings are difficult; it would be necessary to have a privacy zone to 
residential properties; 
•  the capacity of a system accessed by lifts will be significantly 
compromised compared to a lower station building, as there will be 
issues related both to lift capacity and requirements to safeguard against 
crowding at platform level. 
6.44.  A review of the route options against the physical constraints highlighted that 
a route linking North Greenwich to Royal Victoria (for the DLR and ExCeL) 
was feasible without significant impacts on existing residents or mature 
development plans. It would also bring residents of the Greenwich Peninsula 
to around five minutes’ walk from Crossrail at Custom House from 2018. 
6.45.  Routes to Canary Wharf all conflicted with existing residential development on 
the northern bank of the Thames, or planned development on the southern 
side by GPRL or AEG. Routes to East India conflicted with development on 
the southern side or were remote from the commercial centre, and there were 
land and privacy issues with the site within a close proximity of the DLR.   
6.46.  A route to the ExCeL area also has advantages over other directions, such as:  
•  Connectivity. Routes to the Royal Docks add a new link rather than 
duplicate the Jubilee line. 
•  Regeneration potential. The Royal Docks has significant development 
potential which improved connectivity and new visitors will help to foster. 
Cable car unlikely to have an impact on Canary Wharf development 
•  Olympic impacts. If built by 2012, linking O2 and ExCeL adds to the 
Olympic offer at both venues, and improves transport resilience during 
the games 
•  Tourism potential. Linking the O2 with other leisure generators e.g. 
ExCeL, Siemens, likely to add to attractiveness of all venues as part of 
larger visitor centre 
 
6.47.  Given all the above, if a cable car is to be provided, the route should cross the 
Thames towards the ExCeL area, to provide a new link to both the growing 
leisure offer in the Royal Docks and to provide a new link from North 
Greenwich to the DLR and, from 2018, to Crossrail from Custom House. 
6.48. After much discussion with local developer and landowners about the 
feasibility of this corridor, a route has been identified which avoids all existing 
residential properties; where the scheme interfaces with planned (but unbuilt) 
development on the Greenwich Peninsula, TfL has agreed that changes to the 
masterplan to enable the cable car are feasible. The route is shown in Figure 
6.6 below.  
 
42 
 


TfL Planning  
Cable car need and business case
 
Figure 6.6 – The London Cable Car Alignment and long-section 
 
 
6.49.  This route would provide a new travel option for local people; while demand 
for travel between the Royal Docks and the Greenwich Peninsula is lower 
than to, for example, Canary Wharf, it provides a direct link without 
interchange, or without waiting for a train; current journey times are highly 
variable depending on wait times for each of the two trains required. In 
addition, the cable car station locations are close to the centres of activity, 
with a short journey from street to platform.  
6.50.  Cyclists tend not to use public transport as part of a regular journey, except for 
longer distance trip, with free travel one of the benefits of cycling. However, 
from the Greenwich Peninsula, there are no bridges or tunnels available to 
cyclists, and cycles may not be carried on the Jubilee line (as it is in deep 
tunnel in this area).  
6.51.  As a result, although cycle routes on the peninsula itself are good, including 
National Cycle Network’s Thames Path, cycle journeys can be unattractive, 
especially to nearby locations which are on the other side of the Thames. The 
cable car offers cyclists living on the peninsula a route to the northern bank of 
the Thames for onward travel, with a significant time saving over the 
alternative routes such as via the Greenwich or Woolwich foot tunnels. This 
time saving is significant and likely to attract cyclists, provided the fare is not 
too high; season tickets aimed at local regular users could provide a discount 
over the cash fare.   
6.52.  With around 25,000 residents expected to be living on the peninsula within the 
next few years, there is a very significant potential market for cycling if it is 
43 
 

TfL Planning  
Cable car need and business case
 
possible to cross the Thames, but who will otherwise not be likely to cycle due 
to the barrier of the river.   
6.53.  By effectively overcoming the double barrier of the river and the Silvertown 
Riverfront industrial zone, the scheme integrates the two Opportunity Areas 
and supports London Plan strategic policy direction. In particular it supports: 
•  Greenwich Peninsula as an internationally significant leisure attraction and 
major contributor to meeting London’s need for additional housing; and  
•  The Royal Docks in maximising the benefits of Crossrail, and capitalising 
on the success of ExCeL and the potential for further visitor / business 
related growth. 
6.54.  The cable car could provide a direct public transport link between North 
Greenwich and the Royal Docks. These are two of the east sub-region’s 14 
Opportunity Areas and have the following planned employment and new 
housing capacities: 
•  6000 jobs and 11,000 new homes in the Royal Docks by 2026, and 
•  7000 jobs and 13,500 new homes on the Greenwich Peninsula by 2026 
6.55.  The scheme is expected to have various impacts on regeneration, including 
increasing land values, supporting business and inward investment, and 
promoting tourism, by making it easier for the areas of North Greenwich and 
the Royal Docks operate as a single commercial, leisure and residential 
location.   
6.56.  A cable car would conflict with construction of a road bridge at this location, 
but a bridge is opposed by the local authority and has a very significant traffic 
impact due to the requirement to open for shipping. This cable car route is 
however consistent with a road tunnel, and designed to work alongside it.  
6.57.  A cable car scheme is estimated to cost around £45M to construct (current 
prices) with around £10M for project development, land, etc.; this is around 
half the likely cost of a footbridge. Unlike a footbridge, passenger fares would 
contribute to operating costs. 
 
44 
 

TfL Planning  
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Assessment 
6.58.  The table below assesses a cable car option against the objectives.  
 
Objectives 
Measure 
New North Greenwich - 
Royal Docks cable car 

To support the provision of 
Providing new transport 
PASS 
public transport services in 
options for public transport 
the London Thames 
passengers from North 
Gateway 
Greenwich 
To improve access to new 
Links to new rail services 
PASS – links North 
rail links being provided in 
Greenwich to DLR and 
the area 
Crossrail 
To integrate with local and 
Conformity with relevant 
PASS  
strategic land use policies 
policies and development 
plans 
To ensure that any proposals 
Degree of support for 
PASS 
are acceptable in principle to 
proposals 
key stakeholders, including 
affected boroughs 
To provide attractive new 
Quality of environment, and 
PASS 
walking and cycling links 
links to strategic walking and 
cycling routes 
To support the needs of 
Impact of proposal on local 
PASS 
existing businesses in the 
businesses 
area and to encourage new 
business investment  
To achieve value for money 
Assessment of financial 
PASS – positive business 
for TfL and the wider GLA 
impact on TfL/GLA and 
case and potential for 
Business Case 
revenues to cover 
operating costs 
 
6.59.  A cable car meets all the programme objectives for improving pedestrian / 
cycle options from North Greenwich and is likely to have considerable 
secondary regeneration benefits. It enjoys strong support, and there is interest 
in third party funding in the form of sponsorship and advertising, as well as 
fare revenue to contribute to maintenance and operating costs.  
6.60.  As a result, a cable car to the Royal Docks is recommended for further 
work.  
 
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TfL Planning  
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Option: Amphibian bus service 
6.61.  An alternative to a new passenger ferry could be an amphibian bus service. 
This would be a highly innovative scheme, as no such services are known to 
currently exist, although a manufacturer in the Netherlands did operate a trial 
with Stagecoach in 2009 to assess whether it could provide a replacement for 
a ferry service on the River Clyde in Scotland.  
6.62.  This option requires access to slipways on both sides of the Thames; given 
the development and land uses in the areas along the river frontage, it is likely 
that existing slipways would have to be used.  
6.63.  There is a slipway on the western side of the Greenwich Peninsula, and 
another on the eastern side of the Isle of Dogs; however, the latter is not well 
located to provide a service to Canary Wharf, and its use is likely to be 
opposed by the adjoining residents.  
 
Figure 5.9 – Amsterdam Road slipway, Isle of Dogs (source: bing.com) 
 
 
6.64.  Any such service would inevitably be slow, given the need to change the 
mode of operation from land to river at the slipways; with slow speeds over 
the water and circuitous routing on street, the journey times would be very 
unattractive compared with the Jubilee line, even taking into account the 
potential for the service to start south of North Greenwich and provide a 
through journey eliminating the interchange. Figure 5.10 below illustrates the 
circuitous route which would be required.  
46 
 


TfL Planning  
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Figure 5.10 – potential amphibian bus route 
 
 
6.65.  The capacity would be limited, and with high floors to accommodate the dual-
mode of operation, bus stop infrastructure along the route would need to be 
modified to accommodate the specialist vehicles.   
6.66.  The service would be of a low capacity, and would not provide additional 
resilience. It would be difficult to maintain a regular service, and would require 
specially trained staff capable of navigating on the Thames, with a resultant 
high operating cost compared to regular bus services.  
6.67.  The Port of London Authority is likely to be concerned with the impact on 
shipping and safe navigation, maintenance of the slipways, and impact on the 
moorings at the Amsterdam Road slipway.  
 
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TfL Planning  
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Assessment 
6.68.  The table below assesses an amphibian bus service option against the 
objectives.  
 
Objectives Measure 
North 
Greenwich 
– 
Canary Wharf amphibian 
bus 

To support the provision of 
Providing new transport 
FAIL – slow journey times, 
public transport services in 
options for public transport 
low capacity 
the London Thames 
passengers from North 
Gateway 
Greenwich 
To improve access to new 
Links to new rail services 
FAIL 
rail links being provided in 
the area 
To integrate with local and 
Conformity with relevant 
PASS  
strategic land use policies 
policies and development 
plans 
To ensure that any proposals 
Degree of support for 
FAIL  
are acceptable in principle to 
proposals 
key stakeholders, including 
affected boroughs 
To provide attractive new 
Quality of environment, and 
FAIL 
walking and cycling links 
links to strategic walking and 
cycling routes 
To support the needs of 
Impact of proposal on local 
FAIL 
existing businesses in the 
businesses 
area and to encourage new 
business investment  
To achieve value for money 
Assessment of financial 
FAIL – likely low demand, 
for TfL and the wider GLA 
impact on TfL/GLA and 
high operating costs, no 
Business Case 
wider social benefits 
 
6.69.  In inner London there are significant obstacles to operating an amphibious 
vehicle in service on a busy river, there are few benefits given the 
comparative journey times, and the assessment suggests that such a service 
does not meet the programme’s objectives.  
6.70.  As a result, an amphibious bus service is not recommended for further 
work.  
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TfL Planning  
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Summary of option assessment 
6.71.  The table below summarises the performance of the alternatives outlined 
within this chapter against the objectives.  
Objectives Measure Do New Canary 
New Royal 
New North 
North Greenwich 
Nothing 
Wharf bridge 
Docks bridge 
Greenwich - 
– Canary Wharf 
Royal Docks 
amphibian bus 
cable car 
To support the 
Providing new 
FAIL 
NEUTRAL  
NEUTRAL  
PASS 
FAIL  
provision of public 
transport options 
transport services in 
for public 
the London Thames 
transport 
Gateway 
passengers from 
North Greenwich 
To improve access 
Links to new rail 
FAIL 
FAIL FAIL PASS  FAIL 
to new rail links 
services 
being provided in 
the area 
To integrate with 
Conformity with 
PASS  
PASS 
PASS  
PASS  
PASS  
local and strategic 
relevant policies 
land use policies 
and development 
plans 
To ensure that any 
Degree of support 
NEUTRAL 
PASS PASS PASS  FAIL 
 
proposals are 
for proposals 
acceptable in 
principle to key 
stakeholders, 
including affected 
boroughs 
To provide attractive 
Quality of 
FAIL PASS 
NEUTRAL 
 PASS 
FAIL 
new walking and 
environment, and 
cycling links 
links to strategic 
walking and 
cycling routes 
To support the 
Impact of 
NEUTRAL PASS 
 
NEUTRAL 
PASS 
FAIL 
needs of existing 
proposal on local 
businesses in the 
businesses 
area and to 
encourage new 
business investment  
To achieve value for 
Assessment of 
PASS 
FAIL FAIL PASS  FAIL 
 
money for TfL and 
financial impact 
the wider GLA 
on TfL/GLA and 
Business Case 
 
6.72.  The challenge of local pedestrian / cycle crossings in the area is most acute in 
the North Greenwich area, and a number of options have been considered for 
addressing the need for better connectivity.  
6.73.  The cable car scheme is shown above to be best able to meet the programme 
objectives of the alternatives considered, and the next chapter reviews the 
business case for the scheme.  
   
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7. 
BUSINESS CASE 
 
7.1. 
A Business case assessment for the cable car scheme has been undertaken, 
and is summarised below.  
7.2.  It is important to note that at the time of preparation of this update, TfL is in 
the process of discussing costs with two bidding consortia, and the final cost 
is therefore not known. A conservative assessment of the costs has therefore 
been used in this appraisal, as well as the application of risk to the costs. 
Therefore the numbers within this appraisal may not be consistent with the 
final capital costs, but are likely to be higher than the actual cost of 
construction.  
 
Capital Costs 
7.3.  An OJEU notice and Prequalification Questionnaire were published in late 
2010 and two bidding consortia have applied to tender for the design and 
construction of the cable car. Tenders from bidders have now been returned. 
At the time of this appraisal it is not known which of the bids (if any) will be 
accepted, nor which potential options or opportunities for cost savings will be 
accepted.  In the interests of being conservative, a cost at the high end of the 
range of bids and options has been used, together with a further allowance of 
15% for risk. Therefore the numbers within this appraisal may not be 
consistent with the final capital costs, but are likely to be higher than the 
actual cost of construction. 
7.4.  Based on the above, for this appraisal it has been estimated that the capital 
cost of the scheme will be £55.6 million (in 2011 prices). A further allowance 
has been made for design and construction risk of 15%, taking the costs 
within this appraisal to £62.6m. A breakdown of these costs is provided in 
Table 7.1 below: 
 
Table 7.1 - Capital cost breakdown 
Construction item 
2011 estimate (£M)  
Capital cost estimate 
46.4 
Land cost 
2.7 
Development 
2.9 
Project delivery 
3.6 
Sub-total 
55.6 
Risk and Contingency @ 15% 
7.0 
Total 
62.6 
 
7.5. 
TfL is engaged in discussions with the private sector around the opportunities 
for funding. These have yet to be concluded although preliminary discussions 
are very positive.  
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7.6.  Nevertheless, with this not secured at the time of this appraisal, a 
conservative assumption has been made that TfL would be responsible for the 
full capital costs.   
Demand forecasts  
7.7. 
Demand assumptions draw on the analysis of the three main potential groups 
of users: 
 
•  public transport users:  including people living and working in London who 
would use the cable car as part of the public transport network for a 
journey to/from work or in their leisure time; 
•  linked visitor users: including people already visiting one of the attractions 
in the area (such as the O2 Arena and the ExCeL centre), who would use 
the cable car as part of their day or evening out; and 
• attracted 
tourists: 
including London residents and visitors to London who 
would visit for the sole purpose of riding on the cable car. 
7.8.  While the final fare structure will be agreed by the Mayor in due course, the 
following fare assumptions have been used for the purpose of assessing the 
business case: 
•  Adult Oyster PAYG single journey – £3.00; 
•  Adult cash single journey – £4.00. 
 
7.9.  Various options exist for more detailed consideration including the levels of 
discount for children, Freedom Pass holders, and Travelcard holders, and the 
availability of cable car season tickets for regular passengers. 
7.10.  Depending on the final options for fare and ticketing, passenger numbers (as 
shown in the table below) are expected to be up to two million passenger 
journeys in the first nine months (June 2012 – March 2013) increasing to 
around 2.6 million journeys per annum by 2021 on the back of growth in public 
transport and link visitor market segments.  This equates to around 5,500 
passengers a day, which in local transport terms is equivalent to the number 
of passengers using the DLR to/from Beckton.  
 
Table 7.2 - Passenger demand 
Demand 
(000s) 
12/13
13/14
14/15
15/16
16/17
17/18 18/19 20/21
Public transport 
467 678 739 807 848 937 
 986 
 
1,038 
users 
Linked 
visitor 
users  1,512 1,221 1,260 1,304 1,330 1,387 
 1,418 
 1,451 
Attracted 
tourists 
122 133 133 133 133 133 
 133 
 133 
Total 
demand 
2,101 2,032 2,132 2,243 2,310 2,457 
 2,537 
 2,622 
(Note: Demand figures for 2012/13 are for nine months of operation only) 
 
7.11. These demand figures are higher than previous estimates and reflect 
additional information on the size and nature of the potential market. 
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7.12.  Given the unique nature of the scheme, actual demand is difficult to forecast 
accurately and could vary quite significantly as a result of various factors, 
including the level of fares and ticketing arrangements in place, regeneration 
effects and tourism levels in London.  However, as a point of comparison, 
these demand forecasts have been compared to passenger use on other 
urban cable systems – the passenger demand would appear to fall in between 
the systems found in New York and Singapore, which carry 2m and 2.5m 
passengers respectively.  
7.13.  If complete by June 2012, the Olympic Games would be expected to generate 
an initial spike in demand due to the proximity to an Olympic venue at each 
end of the route. 
 
Revenue forecasts 
7.14.  Passenger fare revenues have been estimated at around £2.7m in year 1, 
rising to £3.2m per annum at year 5. (This is somewhat lower than the 
headline fare multiplied by passenger trips due to discounts assumed for 
children, Freedom Pass holders, Travelcard holders, etc.) 
7.15.  The potential for the cable car to generate income through sponsorship is 
substantial. Research undertaken by BDS indicated that a figure in the order 
of £2 million per annum could be collected through sponsorship, and 
£450,000 could be expected from secondary income, such as retail 
concessions.  
7.16.  This figure is based on earlier estimates of 750,000 cable car visitors per year 
spending around 50p each and is therefore a conservative estimate. This 
large increase in forecast demand compared to the BDS assumption is likely 
to increase the value of the ancillary concessions.  
 
Operating & Lifecycle Costs 
7.17.  The Annual operating costs are expected to be around £3.5 million per annum 
and will include staffing, operating costs (including power), ticketing, 
maintenance and insurance.  
7.18.  In addition, lifecycle costs, primarily replacement of mechanical and electrical 
components, will be around £6 million every 10 years. 
 
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Cable car need and business case
 
Non-financial benefits 
7.19.  The cable car offers the following transport benefits: 
Connectivity 
7.20.  The cable car will improve integration of the London walking network on the 
north and south sides of the river Thames. Journey times between North 
Greenwich and the Royal Docks will be improved, especially for cyclists, who 
cannot use the Jubilee line 
7.21.  A bespoke spreadsheet model was employed to forecast future demand, 
building on a model that was already developed for the appraisal of several 
river crossing options around the Isle of Dogs. An LTS based model has been 
assembled to assess demand. This uses observed data at Woolwich and 
Greenwich foot tunnels, as well as the Woolwich ferry.  The model forecasts 
the relative changes in mode share for walking and cycling as a result of 
changes in generalised journey time (i.e. adding the cable car).  
7.22. The 2001 national census travel-to-work data for the AM peak period was 
factored up to the base year (2006) using population and employment growth 
from LTS to create OD base matrices. Data from the Canary Wharf Travel 
Survey was used to estimate trips to and from Canary Wharf as the nature 
and scale of these trips changed considerably during this period. Future OD 
matrices were calculated using forecast population and employment growth 
from LTS B5.4 for 2016 and 2026. 
7.23.  The TfL Journey Planner was used to estimate base walk and cycle times, 
which were combined with modal parameters to determine generalised walk 
and cycle journey times. LTS was used to estimate base PT generalised 
journey times. 
7.24.  Base demand was calibrated using observed data for the Greenwich Foot 
tunnel, Woolwich Foot tunnel and Woolwich Ferry. Demand for the proposed 
cable car was then calculated using the model with new journey times 
afforded by the new river crossing. An annualisation factor was then applied to 
the peak hours demand to obtain annual demand.  
Walking benefits 
7.25.  Those using the cable car as part of a walking trip will save, on average, 3 
generalised7 minutes per journey. 307,000 such journeys per year are 
expected on the cable car. This equates to about 15,350 hours per year 
saved. The Value of Time for walkers (according to the Journey Time 
Calculator) is £15.02 per hour. Overall benefits amount to £230,600 per year. 
The derivation of this figure is displayed below, in Table 7.3.    
 
                                                 
7 ‘Generalised’ time is used in transport modelling to weight time according to conditions and cost; for 
example, 1 minute spent travelling is worth 1 minute generalised time, but 1 minute waiting for a train 
or bus equates to 1.5 minutes generalised time, as this is weighted to reflect passengers’ willingness 
to wait or interchange.  
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Table 7.3 - Derivation of pedestrian benefits (first full year) 
Average no. of pedestrian trips on cable car per day 
930 
a = No. of pedestrian trips on cable car p.a. 
307,000 
b = Average generalised time saving per trip (min) 

c = Equivalent additional time (min) per trip based on average 

fare  
d = b – c = Net equivalent time (min) saving per trip 

e = Value of time per pedestrian (p/min) 
25.04 
f = a x d x e / 100 = Annual benefits (£) for pedestrians 
230,600 
 
Cycling benefits 
7.26.  There will be large journey time reductions for cyclists through the provision of 
a new river crossing approximately mid-way between the Greenwich and 
Woolwich Foot Tunnels. For cyclists, the average time saving is substantially 
higher, at 22 (generalised) minutes per journey. This is due mainly to the fact 
that cyclists going to/from the Greenwich Peninsula do not have the level of 
options available to them as walkers do. An example of such a journey would 
be one from Greenwich Peninsula to Canary Wharf. Currently, the cyclist 
would have to use the Greenwich foot tunnel – the cable car offers a journey 7 
minutes quicker for the 70 or so cycle trips forecast. Another example of 
journey time saving is for those 30 or so cyclists heading from inner north east 
London to Greenwich Peninsula, who each save around 35 minutes (rather 
than using the inconvenient Greenwich or Woolwich foot tunnels they can use 
the cable car).  
7.27.  Cyclists are included in ‘Public Transport users’ in Table 3. The average fare 
for a regular cyclist is estimated to cost more than the pedestrian fare, at due 
to fact that fewer cyclists are likely to be travel pass holders compared with 
those making onward public transport journeys.  
7.28.  There are forecast to be 222,000 cycle journeys using the cable car per year, 
or around 670 per day, which equates to a total of about 81,400 hours per 
year saved. The Value of Time for cyclists (according to the Journey Time 
Calculator) is £15.02 per hour. Overall benefits for these users thus amount to 
£1.23M per year. The derivation of this figure is displayed below, in Table 7.4. 
 
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Table 7.4 - Derivation of cycling benefits (first full year)  
 
Average no. of cycle trips on cable car per day 
670 
a = No. of cycle trips on cable car p.a. 
222,000 
b = Average generalised time saving per trip (min) 
28.2 
c = Equivalent additional time (min) per trip based on average 
6.2 
fare (higher than other passengers – less likely to hold travel 
passes)  
d = b – c = Net equivalent time (min) saving per trip 
22 
e = Value of time per cyclist (p/min) 
25.04 
f = a x d x e / 100 = Annual benefits (£) for cyclists 
1,225,000 
 
7.29.  In addition to these users, there are forecast to be a further 1.5 million annual 
trips in year 5 by other users. These users do not gain journey time benefits 
per se, because they will be tourists / leisure users, who are not seeking to 
benefit from quicker journeys. These passengers will provide revenues and 
are also expected to make use of the retail / souvenir outlets on offer, adding 
to the financial case, but no journey time benefits have been claimed for these 
passengers in this business case. 
 
Resilience  
7.30.  Although the cable car is not forecast to be operating at capacity during 
normal operating conditions, it does provide for a certain amount of network 
resilience and introduces an additional choice for people travelling to the 
Greenwich Peninsula. During times of disruption on the Jubilee line, the cable 
car provides an alternative route, albeit, with a maximum capacity of 2,500 
passengers per hour (at full speed). This will help visitors to the O2 get into 
central London after an event, with the northern cable car station only 150 
metres from Royal Victoria DLR station. 
7.31.  The annual resilience benefits have been calculated to be worth around 
£430,000 per annum based on the following assumptions: 
 
Crowding benefits  
7.32.  For journeys from the Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks, the cable car 
offers competitive journey times with the Jubilee line. The cable car will lead to 
slightly reduced crowding on the busy Jubilee line link between North 
Greenwich and Canning Town, at Canning Town station and on the DLR 
between Canning Town and Royal Victoria. The cable car allows additional 
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public transport capacity for 2,500 passengers per hour per direction for the 
Greenwich Peninsula. No financial allowance has been made for this benefit. 
 
Wider Economic Benefits 
7.33.  The LDA has strongly supported the cable far for its potential to make a 
substantial contribution to development in the Royal Docks and bringing wider 
economic benefits to the area. By providing a new crossing it is anticipated 
this will enhance the effects of the regeneration spending on both sides of the 
river including Europe’s busiest entertainment venue and London’s busiest 
convention centre. Without a direct river crossing at this point it is unlikely that 
the full benefits from the current and future regeneration spending in both 
these areas would be realised. 
7.34.  When evaluating the economic value of the cable car, there is a need to 
recognise that landmark projects such as this can drive value, growth and 
economic development in ways that are simply not captured by conventional 
appraisals. It therefore has to be considered within the wider context of a plan 
for the Royal Docks and beyond that, the economic strategy and developing 
brand for East London.  
7.35.  By effectively overcoming the double barrier of the river and the Silvertown 
Riverfront industrial zone, the scheme integrates two Opportunity Areas and 
supports London Plan strategic policy direction. In particular it supports: 
(i) Greenwich Peninsula as an internationally significant leisure 
attraction and major contributor to meeting London’s need for 
additional housing; and  
(ii) The Royal Docks in maximising the benefits of Crossrail, and 
capitalising on the success of ExCeL and the potential for further visitor 
/ business related growth. 
7.36.  The cable car also provides a travel alternative which helps the Opportunity 
Areas maximise their strategic roles in meeting London Plan and MTS goals 
and challenges.   
7.37. The cable car will provide a direct public transport link between North 
Greenwich and the Royal Docks. These are two of the east sub-region’s 14 
Opportunity Areas and have the following planned employment and new 
housing capacities: 
-  6,000 jobs and 11,000 new homes in the Royal Docks by 2026, and 
-  7,000 jobs and 13,500 new homes on the Greenwich Peninsula by 
2026 
7.38.  The scheme is expected to have various impacts on regeneration. These can 
broadly be categorised as follows: 
•  Increases in land values 
•  Support business and inward investment 
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• Promote 
visitors/tourism 
 
Increases in land values 
7.39. The Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks are two of London’s largest 
regeneration areas (the latter now an Enterprise Zone), identified in the 
London Plan as major growth areas for residential, employment and leisure 
based activities. Over the next 20 years the London Plan envisages these two 
Opportunity Areas generating an additional 24,500 new homes (minimum) 
and 13,000 new jobs. The impact of the cable car will be to make the area 
more attractive for potential development by providing a direct link between 
the two areas.  
7.40.  This will lead to some development activity coming forward earlier than if the 
cable car did not happen, unlocking the wider economic benefits of this 
activity for the surrounding area. It is expected that the impact will be most 
positive for developments at the northern end of the Greenwich Peninsula and 
the western end of the Royal Docks. In these locations the majority of the land 
remains within the ownership of the public sector (the HCA at Greenwich 
Peninsula and LDA for the Royal Docks) although private sector development 
partners have been secured in both cases. This means that any uplift in land 
values as a result of the cable car will benefit those responsible for owning the 
land (the LDA, HCA and their successors within the Mayor’s organisation) and 
private sector partners already on board.  
7.41. The Greenwich Peninsula represents a £5bn regeneration opportunity with the 
HCA as freeholder of the land and the LDA’s available land holdings in the 
Royal Docks are valued at in excess of £75m. Whilst not directly comparable, 
research into the effects of the Jubilee line identified an uplift in land values 
along the route of c£13 billion as a result of the new infrastructure. There are 
numerous other examples highlighting the link between transport investment 
and land value. Of those houses served by the Croydon Tramlink network, a 
study has shown that property values have increased by 4% above those 
wards that were not8.  
7.42.  As an example of how improved access can lead to economic enhancement, 
it is useful to look at the case study of Woolwich Arsenal DLR extension. 
Studies undertaken before and after the extension opened suggest that the 
improved access to employment and services has led to higher household 
incomes in Woolwich town centre. In addition to this, more businesses have 
opened in Woolwich, with less derelict units on display.  
 
Support business and inward investment 
7.43.  The cable car will connect the O2 and ExCeL districts, forming a direct link 
between an international entertainment venue and an international conference 
and exhibition centre. Between them, the O2 and ExCeL attract over 7 million 
visitors a year. This, combined with the Siemens Urban Sustainability Centre 
now under construction adjacent to the northern cable car station, all 
                                                 
8 http://www.rics.org/site/download_feed.aspx?fileID=2916&fileExtension=PDF  
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connected by a continuous, non-stop, five minute mass transit link, has the 
capacity to create a single destination, each element better able to 
economically complement the other. This is likely to make the Royal 
Docks/Greenwich Peninsula a more attractive destination for further 
investment of this kind thus supporting an increase in employment 
opportunities for local people, for example through encouraging the large 
development opportunity at Silvertown Quays, previously proposed as the 
home of a major visitor attraction. 
7.44.  Areas close to the cable car on both sides of the river have high levels of 
deprivation and low economic participation. As well as providing better links to 
jobs, the cable car will provide some direct employment opportunities and lead 
to the creation of indirect employment particularly through an uplift in visitors 
and tourists to the surrounding area.  
7.45.  The area already attracts visitors to locations such as the O2 and ExCeL and 
has more than 1,000 hotel rooms. The cable car will help retain visitors 
already in the area and attract new visitors in its own right. This will support 
existing businesses in the area and lead to the creation of new business 
opportunities which will have employment opportunities for local people. TfL is 
supporting local labour and training initiatives in both Newham and 
Greenwich. 
 
Promote visitors/tourism 
7.46.  The cable car is expected to have a significant tourism impact including the 
direct income from visitor spend in both areas, increasing London’s tourism 
offer and the multiplier effects that this may have on the London economy. 
7.47.  The cable car will not only provide transportation benefits, it will be a visitor 
attraction in its own right. There are other examples of schemes in London 
which have this kind of effect including the Millennium footbridge and to a 
certain extent the Docklands Light Railway; however, the potential impact of 
the cable car is much greater. Examples from overseas include the San 
Francisco cable cars, Staten Island ferry and the Hong Kong Peak tram. 
Tourist cable car systems in Singapore and Barcelona both generate upwards 
of 1 million visitors per year.  
7.48.  The design of the cable car structure and the views/experience it offers means 
that it has the potential to become a major attraction in London. This will have 
two economic impacts: 
•  Visitors/tourists already in the area (for example at the O2 and 
Docklands) will stay longer and potentially spend more money in the 
local area; and 
•  New visitors/tourists will be attracted to the area who will in turn spend 
money and potentially visit other attractions in the area such as 
Greenwich/Docklands. 
7.49.  The range of potential visitors/tourists to the system spans across London’s 
tourism/visitor market but will include London residents having a “day out”. 
The impact of these visitors using the cable car has not been quantified in the 
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business case but is expected to have considerable economic benefits in 
addition to the other quantified benefits. 
7.50.  The London Eye is an important positive lesson and comparison to the 
intended cable car project. Although initially it was believed to be only a 
temporary attraction in association with the Millennium celebrations, it is now 
the UK’s most popular paid tourist attraction with over 3.5 million annual 
visitors. Indeed, since 1999, the scheme’s popularity has not wavered – it has 
attracted a fairly steady 3.5m passengers per year. The Millennium Bridge has 
contributed significantly to the on-going regeneration of the South Bank by 
enabling improved pedestrian connections to the city of London and a direct 
connection to St.Paul’s as part of the recognised tourist destination route. 
 
 
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Outcome of quantified analysis 
7.51.  Table 7.5 below summarises the economic analysis undertaken.  
 
Table 7.5 - Summary of quantified analysis 
Undiscounted 
 
Present value over 
Item of analysis 
(£m) 
30 years £m 
COSTS  
 
 
 
Capital costs (including risk & 
-62.6  
-60.0 
contingency) 
Operating costs p.a. in 2026 
-3.5 
Pa 
-62.2 
Lifecycle costs (every ten years) 
-6.0 
 
-8.8 
Fare revenue 
2.7 
Pa 
68.0 
Sponsorship (primary & secondary) 
2.5 
pa 
43.0 
NET FINANCIAL EFFECT 
 
 
-20.02 
SOCIAL BENEFITS 
 
 
 
Walking - journey time savings 
0.2 
pa 
7.1 
Cycling  - journey time savings 
1.2 
pa 
37.7 
Resilience benefits 
0.4 
pa 
9.5 
NON-MONETISED BENEFITS 
 
 
 
Regeneration benefits 
 
Crowding benefits 
 
 
 
TOTAL SOCIAL BENEFITS 
 
 
54.3 
BENEFIT:COST RATIO 
 
 
2.7 
 
7.52.  The central case cable car scheme has a BCR of 2.7:1
7.53.  This business case does not capture all the financial benefits of the scheme, 
in particular the substantial impact of the scheme on wider economic 
outcomes around the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula.  
 
 
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8. 
CONCLUSIONS  
 
8.1. 
This report has reviewed the need for improved cross-river connectivity in east 
London, and found that: 
•  The strategic plans for London envisage a high level of new development 
in east London, including areas close to the River Thames in Tower 
Hamlets, Greenwich and Newham; 
•  Investment in rail links has provided many new opportunities to access 
regeneration areas in the east London, but the Greenwich Peninsula in 
particular is forecast to host significant development but is dependent on a 
single rail station and line; 
•  A new link to the Royal Docks would provide much greater resilience to 
the Greenwich Peninsula, encouraging investment to bring new jobs and 
homes to the area, and would link two areas of potential complementary 
growth. 
8.2.  A range of potential options has been considered to address the need for 
improved crossings, and a cable car has the potential to provide a new 
crossing from the Greenwich Peninsula, which meets the geographic 
constraints at a much lower cost than a footbridge, and would deliver 
pedestrians and cyclists to the area around Royal Victoria, which provides 
opportunities for complementary development linking the leisure hubs of the 
O2 Arena and ExCeL.  
8.3.  Furthermore, a cable car would be an innovative scheme offering a 
spectacular view of London’s Docklands, and is likely to provide a point of 
interest for those already visiting the O2 Arena and ExCeL, making these 
more attractive destinations for events. In addition, it is likely to attract some 
new visitors to the area, who would be likely to visit other local attractions; this 
would create new secondary jobs in the local area.  
8.4. 
The cost of the cable car is significantly less than a footbridge, and its ability 
to attract users who are visiting the O2 Arena or ExCeL, or especially to visit 
the cable car, allows revenues from these visitors to contribute to scheme 
costs. It is also likely to attract secondary revenue from sponsorship 
opportunities, due to its innovative nature and high profile location on the 
Rover Thames.  
8.5. 
If opened prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, it would also be of major benefit 
in handling the crowds visiting the O2 Arena and ExCeL for events.  
8.6.  The central case has a Benefit : Cost Ratio of 2.7:1, delivering transport 
benefits (captured within this business case) and wider economic benefits 
(which are not captured within this ratio).   
8.7.  Given the uncertainties around demand and impacts, the scheme impacts 
should be monitored, and the operations and fare structures kept under 
review, to ensure that the right balance is maintained between delivering local 
benefits and providing overall value for money for TfL.  
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