London Assembly calls for rethink on cable car fares

London’s cable car should be fully integrated into the capital’s fares system, according to a London Assembly motion passed last week.

Despite the cable car being owned by Transport for London, Travecard and Freedom Pass holders cannot use their existing passes to travel. Instead they must purchase a separate ticket at £3.20 per journey.

The cable car is also excluded from the Oyster daily cap which limits the amount paid by Oyster Pay As you Go users on other TfL transport modes.

The motion, agreed by a majority vote of Assembly Members, urges Mayor Boris Johnson to allow passholders to travel without additional payment and to include cable care fares within the cap.

Johnson initially claimed the cable care would be built at no cost to the taxpayer but has so far only been able to recoup part of the upfront costs via sponsorship and an EU grant.

Darren Johnson AM, who proposed the motion, said: “It’s fantastic to finally see a cable car across the river, but a real disappointment that passengers must pay extra to use it. By being excluded from the travel cards, freedom passes and the daily Oyster card cap, the cable car is effectively outside of London’s integrated public transport system.

“Obviously it’s a nice tourist attraction, but it has far more potential to be a genuine part of the public transport network and I urge the Mayor to review his decision.”

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who amended the motion, said, “The Mayor made a very clear promise that his new cable car would be wholly funded from private sources and yet we now see that £25m of public money was needed to get it off the ground. With public transport spending stretched across the capital, there are so many other things that cash could have been spent on.

“The brand new cable car is a great credit to Transport for London and the engineers that built it and a wonderful way to get across the Thames, but there are still serious questions for the Mayor about how it was paid for”.

The full text of the motion reads as follows:
“The Assembly welcomes the cable car river crossing, but regrets that some £25 million worth of public money has been spent on it being built when the Mayor had promised that it would be fully funded from the private sector.

This Assembly regrets that travel on the cable car will not be covered by travel cards, the Freedom Pass or the Oyster cap. It considers that the Mayor has missed an opportunity to integrate fully the cable car into the public transport ticketing system.

The Assembly requests the Mayor under section 60(1) of the Greater London Authority Act to:

  • Reconsider the exclusion of cable car journeys from the normal ticketing arrangements when he makes his 2013 fares decision;
  • Report to the Assembly, well in advance of his 2013 fares decision, on the cost of including cable car journeys in travel cards, the Freedom Pass and Oyster cap;
  • Consult with boroughs on how cable car travel could be included in the Freedom Pass.”