Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Friday, 17 June 2011 12:11 UK

Boris Johnson: Taxpayers may end up funding cable car

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has admitted that taxpayers may end up footing at least part of the cost of a new cable car spanning the River Thames.

During question time on 15 June 2011, Mr Johnson said that he could not "guarantee" that the private sector would be able to meet the £57m costs involved in setting up the scheme which will link the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks in Newham.

Last year Transport for London said it would not be funding the cable car - but it is now paying for the project up front, with the aim of raising the money from things such as sponsorship later.

When pressed by Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon, who asked him to guarantee that all the money would be recouped from the private sector, Mr Johnson said that private funds "may well cover the total cost over time".

But he added: "Whether it will cover every penny of the set up costs I can't guarantee."

The cost "may very well be zero to the public sector, but I can't tell you what it will be yet", he told the assembly.

Mr Johnson told London assembly members that there had been a "great deal of interest" in sponsoring the scheme, but that nothing has yet been finalised. Work on the cable car will begin this summer.

It is not yet clear whether the cable cars will be ready in time for the Olympics in August next year.

Mayor and London Assembly membership


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