Greenwich cable car launches joint Thames Clippers ticket

Greenwich cable car launches joint Thames Clippers ticket

Greenwich cable car launches joint Thames Clippers ticket

Greenwich cable car launches joint Thames Clippers ticket

First published in News
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News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

A new family ticket offers unlimited rides on the Thames Clippers and a return journey on the Greenwich cable car. But is this an admission that Greenwich's newest transport link is actually just a tourist attraction? 

Riding on the cable car, its boss Danny Price gleefully points out as proof of the £60m link's popularity some gondolas filled with children passing slowly by our own cabin.

We are gliding across the Thames for the launch of a new partnership between the Emirates Air Line cable car and the Thames Clippers which will offer "fantastic views" of the capital.

With our trip coming at the start of the school holidays, the £60m cable car seems surprisingly popular for a service which has been generally mocked for its low passenger numbers.

The figures are striking with an Olympics-boosted peak of 110,255 weekly users soon after it opened comparing unfavourably to a low of 7,043 this February. Even the passengers for this July are down on the same time last year.

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But head of operations Mr Price is delighted with the way things have gone.

He explained: "Our figures are doing exactly what we said they'd do. Four million visitors in two years is exactly going to plan. We're covering all our operating costs."

The cable car gondolas now feature a video, partly narrated by BBC travel presenter Simon Reeve, with various Londoners explaining some of the capital's "hidden stories", including facts on some of the sights like the Thames Barrier and Royal Docks.

And one of the partnership's new deals is a £50 'roamer' package for a family of five, including river passes allowing unlimited hop-on, hop-off clipper travel, along with a return trip on the Emirates Air Line, access to the Emirates Aviation Experience flight simulator centre and a guidebook.

Mr Price said: "We think it's fantastic value and these aren't just for visitors to London, theses are for Londoners and we want people to rediscover parts of London.

"For £10 you'd struggle to get a guidebook at a number of paid for attractions."

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But Mr Price is clear this is not an admission the cable car is just a tourist attraction. 

He points out that, while 72 per cent of visitors do use the service for sightseeing, half of users are Londoners.

And he said: "The key thing is it's built for further regeneration. 

"It's built in advance of 20,000 people who will be living on the Greenwich Peninsula.

"We expect that particular market will improve over time.

"We're currently exploring what we can do with local businesses to boost their use."

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