Why is the Greenwich Cable Car not seeing more users?
OK, so before I begin, arguments over the Dangleway and Boris Johnson have been done a million times. It’s here, it exists and so this post is not going to go over that but look at usage number since opening seven years ago.
What I’m intrigued with is why passenger numbers are not rising at all. So far this year according to TfL data user numbers are no better than any other year since construction. In fact they are the worst yet despite numerous projects on each side of the Thames. I’m not talking commuter use as that was never going to see much use but leisure.
Over the past year numerous developments would have been expected to bring more people to the area who you may imagine would be inclined to jump on for the views if nothing else.
On the south of the Thames we’ve had a new elevated walkway open in Greenwich, an expanded cinema at the o2 (now the biggest in London), a new shopping centre (granted, it’s not a great success so far), numerous new flats complete and becoming occupied along with various other events and festivals.
North of the Thames has seen a floating hotel opened, new high rise blocks of flats complete and other regular events.
Now, one may have expected at least a small increase in leisure use but there’s been nothing. Month on month are admittedly precarious and prone to events but lets look at May and June over the past few years:
2019: 110k trips
2018: 110k trips
2017: 110k trips
2016: 110k trips
By this stage I was wondering if someone is just cutting and pasting on a Friday afternoon before they knock off work, but no, wait…
2015: 120k trips
2014: 130k trips
2013: 140k trips
If we look at the first quarter this year is the worst on record.
I know the cable car is much maligned but it’s a decent little trip and offers great views. At £3.50 for adults and £1.70 for children it’s not a great expense if visiting the area for a day out.
Why is it not appealing to tourists? I’ve read all the arguments about views of scrapyards, which is true if you only look directly down of course. Look up and the view is stunning over London.
So anyway, I guess this is a bit of a post in support of the thing. It was never a commuter solution and that argument was rubbish and a tokenistic Boris trick.
Yet it appears many don’t agree with me. It’s just not pulling in the punters.