TfL Confirm Cable Car Launch Details


TfL have confirmed the launch details for the new Cable Car linking Greenwich and the Royal Docks.

We have written about the Cable Car throughout its slightly troubled gestation, and will be returning to the subject in detail next week in line with the launch. In the meantime, however, it is now possible to confirm both operating hours and the initial price point.

In terms of launch date, TfL have confirmed that it will open to passengers at midday on Thursday 28th – a date that we will happily admit has exceeded our expectations. After that, opening hours will be as follows:

  • 0700 to 2100 Mondays – Fridays
  • 0800 to 2100 on Saturdays
  • 0900 to 2100 on Sundays

These standard services will be augmented with earlier and/or later running for special events, including the Olympics.

Fares and Ticketing

A basic fares table is included below, but the fare structure seems to be slightly more complex than might be hoped. Although Oyster discounts are supported, journeys on the Cable Car won’t contribute to the daily cap and – at least at first glance – won’t be covered by a travelcard itself. TfL’s announcement also seems to suggest that it won’t necessarily be as simple as rolling up and tapping on:

A single fare boarding pass using Oyster pay as you go for the Emirates Air Line will cost £3.20 (child fare £1.60). Passengers with a Travelcard or other Oyster cards (including Freedom Passes) will be able to fly for the same fare but will need to buy a boarding pass from ticket offices or vending machines which are available at both terminals, Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks.

The price point itself, whilst not entirely unreasonable, does seem to highlight once again that the Cable Car is a system not entirely sure of its audience. It is priced slightly too high for a commuter journey but cheap for a tourist attraction (especially thanks to the roundtrip option). The inclusion of a multi-fare option (which much be used within 12 months) will mitigate the cost for anyone who does find themselves using it regularly, but such a user will almost certainly still need to purchase a travelcard for the rest of their journey as well, so this will still be an additional charge over what they’re currently paying.

Full fare details are included below.

Cash single fare Fare for Oyster pay as you go users, Travelcard & Freedom Pass holders Frequent flyer ticket (10 journeys)
Adult boarding pass £4.30 £3.20 £16.00
Child boarding pass £2.20 £1.60 n/a
Written by John Bull
John Bull is the Editor of London Reconnections. A transport journalist and historian, his writing often focuses on the political or strategic challenges facing London's transport network and beyond.