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Wednesday, March 4, 1998 Published at 19:53 GMT


Fly me to the Dome
image: [ One more reason to visit the Dome? ]
One more reason to visit the Dome?

First, there was a ferry across the Mersey.

Now, however, a company hopes that its plans for a cable car service across the Thames to the site of the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, London, will become just as famous.

Greenwich Council granted the Meridian Skyway scheme outline planning permission on Tuesday, bringing the project even closer to reality.

According to plans, it will cost about £8m and soar up to 260 feet (80 metres) above the river in East London.

[ image: The cable car service should be ready in time for the Millennium.]
The cable car service should be ready in time for the Millennium.
If all goes well, there will be 23 gondola-style cable cars each capable of carrying 15 people between the East India Dockland Light Railway station north of the river to the Greenwich peninsula in the south.

Developers say up to 2,500 people an hour, paying an estimated single fare of £2, will travel in each direction, enjoying panoramic views across the city during the three-minute journey.

[ image: Cables and cranes are nothing new as Dome construction continues apace.]
Cables and cranes are nothing new as Dome construction continues apace.
Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and it is hoped the first passengers should cross the Thames by October 1999.

A spokesman for Meridian Cable Cars Ltd said there was no reason why the cable car could not remain operational after the Millennium exhibition ended.

"If the demand is there, especially from commuters, theoretically it could stay there indefinitely," he added.

He said the company was consulting with Millennium site developers and seeking advertisers for the sides of the cars.

According to the company, the project will be the first such scheme in the capital.

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