Olympic cable car 'at risk from City Airport planes'

TfL cable car route map
Image caption The planned cable car route will connect Olympic venues on either side of the river (courtesy Transport for London)

A planned cable car across the River Thames may be unsafe because it goes too close to London City Airport, Friends of the Earth has warned.

The charity wrote to London Mayor Boris Johnson concerned that the cars would travel through the "public safety zone" around the airport.

It raised the issue at several meetings but felt proper consideration had not been given to its worries, it said.

Transport for London (TfL) said it taken all safety issues into account.

The cable car will link 2012 Olympic venues at Greenwich and the Royal Docks and will carry up to 2,500 passengers an hour.

It was designed to cut journey times between the O2 arena and the ExCel exhibition centre, both of which will host events at the games.

'Overwhelmingly positive'

Friends of the Earth said it strongly supported the project and if new transport methods were needed, the scheme "was exactly the sort of initiative TfL should be considering".

The scheme's docking stations were not in the airport's safety zone, it said, but a TfL transport assessment "clearly shows the cable car passing through the passenger safety zone".

The organisation called for Mr Johnson to commission a "proper analysis of the safety issues".

TfL said a planning application had "recently been recommended for approval by the three relevant planning authorities".

"This included an assessment against policies relating to public safety," said a spokesman.

"In the run-up to our planning application submission, TfL undertook a number of consultations with the public and stakeholders, including London City Airport. 

"The overwhelming response has been positive and in favour of this scheme.

"Feedback from these consultations was included in our final planning application submissions."

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