Page last updated at 06:40 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 07:40 UK

London Eye to be 'eco-friendly'

London eye
The London Eye has had more than 33m visitors since it opened

The London Eye will become more environmentally friendly under a £12.5m upgrade, its operator has claimed.

Merlin Entertainments Group, which owns the Eye, will improve heating and ventilation in the 32 capsules to make the attraction more energy efficient.

Ceiling-mounted TV screens and better wi-fi are also being installed.

The owner said the attraction on London's South Bank would remain open as normal during the work, with capsules being upgraded one at a time.

When each capsule is removed in turn, it will travel down the river to Silvertown in London's docklands, from where it will be trucked to a workshop in Worcester to be upgraded.

Maximum efficiency

A temporary capsule, which does not carry visitors, will be used to replace each one while it is being worked on.

David Sharpe from Merlin Entertainments Group said: "This will ensure the London Eye operates at maximum efficiency and is cutting down its carbon footprint well into the future."

The company said the changes would mean the capsules would not need any maintenance work for up to 20 years.

The upgrade will begin this summer and be completed by 2012.

The London Eye has had more than 33 million visitors since it opened in 2000.



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