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Cable car highlights danger from London City Airport

17th February, 2011

London Mayor  Boris Johnson’s desire to see a Cable Car from Newham to Greenwich across the Thames has hit a snag.

The planning application was agreed by Newham and Greenwich councils without taking proper account of the Public Safety Zone (’Crash Zone’) for City airport. The Mayor has now panicked and the application has been withdrawn.

Transport For London’s (TfL) Richard de Cani stated at Newham Planning that  “The public safety zone issues relating to the London City Airport were not material considerations for the Cable Car.” But now, in what appears to a complete reversal, TfL has asked NATS (National Air Traffic Services) to assess the risks of a Cable Car near the airport.

Assessment of acceptable risks is a complex matter and the cable car raises particular issues.  An accident is potentially more serious than a ‘normal’ accident because, if a plane were to cut the wire, there could be large death toll.

London City Airport is reported be furious that the ongoing danger of the airport in the this heavily populated area has been highlighted.