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Boris’s Balls, river zipwire and other top alternative ideas for new Thames crossings in south London
HERE are five top ideas for alternative methods of getting people across the Thames – all of them far more fun than the road and boat crossing proposals being considered by Transport for London.
One of the two main plans currently on the table is an underground tunnel connecting the Greenwich peninsula with Silvertown, which could be funded by tolls at the Blackwall Tunnel.
The other is a ferry link between Thamesmead and Beckton.
While there may be some merit to these schemes, they are hardly inspiring.
The constant moans from motorists about the Blackwall and Dartford crossings show a new road tunnel is perhaps not the best way to go, while a new ferry service is not the most exciting solution to transport issues.
To give TfL some fresh ideas, here are five suggestions for alternative Thames crossings which could move people a lot more, in more ways than one.
1. A load of balls. Transparent plastic balls to be precise. A zorbing service would allow people to roll across the Thames in safe and dry orbs, and provide good exercise at the same time. The Mayor of London doesn’t seem to be against transport schemes being named in his honour, so this one could be called Boris’s Balls.
2. A giant zipwire. As his antics during the Olympics showed, Boris Johnson loves zipwires so he’s bound to be interested in this one. Similar to the cable car which opened in the summer, people could be flown across the Thames on a wire. Environmentally friendly, with minimal construction required.
3. A jet ski rental scheme. The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, dubbed Boris Bikes, has proved very popular with more than 17 million hires since it launched in 2010. The scheme could be extended to the river, with jet skis instead of bicycles to speed commuters across the water.
4. Going medieval. People could be flung across the river by catapult. A circus-style human cannonball device could achieve the same result. Travel time would be cut to a fraction of what it is now, with crash mats positioned along the banks to ensure passengers arrive safety. If suitable padding is applied, the London Eye could make a huge target to aim people at.
5. Amphibious taxis. Instead of black cabs, what about black subs? The Lotus Esprit in James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me could provide the inspiration for a fleet of underwater vehicles. Going sarf or norf of the river will be a much quicker experience without being stuck on London’s congested roads.
If road or ferry crossings do go ahead, perhaps there could be some innovation. What about a bridge constructed from scrapped bendy buses?
What do you think of our alternative transport ideas and have you get any better suggestions of your own? What should actually be done to improve travel across the Thames? Have your say and post your comments below.