So, at about 7pm, I thought I’d have a look at the cable car since I was passing by. Having seen lots of publicity about “boarding passes“, I saw a couple of ticket machines with Oyster readers on, topped mine up, and tried to find where I could get one. I couldn’t, except at the tourist rate of over four quid.
“Can I buy a ticket with Oyster on these machines?”, I asked a staffer. “No,” she said.
I took a look at the queue for the kiosk, remembered I had an appointment in the pub in a couple of hours, thought better of it, and went to get my bike to ride home.
A couple of hours later, I met my chum in the pub. She’d taken a ride just after I left. “Oh, you can just touch in and it’s fine – heaven knows what it’s taken off my Oyster though…”
As a vertigo sufferer (though one that’s been fine with cable cars in Lisbon – which is what I think London’s is based on – and Barcelona) I might have had a lucky escape, mind. The wind whipped up when I was getting my bike, and the gondolas stopped, swaying slightly in the air. Turns out this is what they do when it gets windy. It gets windy a lot on the Greenwich Peninsula – that could be interesting…
Still, despite it being a multi-million pound drain on a public transport budget, it seemed to have a steady stream of customers, if not the crowds predicted by TfL. It’ll be interesting to see how many people are using it during Friday’s morning rush hour. Probably not a lot, but I’ll keep an open mind.
(Here’s Diamond Geezer‘s Arabfly Dangleway photos, if you really want to see what it’s like.)
But there’s an ominous warning for the future in this week’s Greenwich Council propaganda rag Greenwich Time, where council – sorry, royal borough leader Chris Roberts came out in favour of building a third Blackwall Tunnel underneath the cable car site, having fudged the question at a council meeting during the mayoral election after Labour candidate Ken Livingstone criticised the project.
So, with the Greenwich Labour party in support of clogging up the area with more traffic – if there’s any opposition to the Silvertown Tunnel – 88% of 853 readers were against it in a poll five months ago – then perhaps it needs to get organised sooner rather than later.