Mayor answers to London
Thames Cable Car
Question by Fiona Twycross
Why has the cost of the Thames Cable Car increased from £25m in 2010 to the current estimated cost of £60m? Who or what is responsible for the cost increase and what action has been taken as a result of such inaccurate estimates being made? Have the owners of the Excel Exhibition Centre and the O2, who are likely to be the long term beneficiaries of the project, been asked to make any financial contribution to the costs and have they done so? Finally, what was the original business case for this project and is there still a business case?
Answer by Boris Johnson
It is incorrect to suggest that the cost of the Emirates Air Line project has increased from £25m to £60m. When the detailed project was presented to the TfL Board in March 2011 for approval to proceed the cost was £62.6m. With the scheme now nearing completion, the actual cost is expected to remain within this budgeted amount. Earlier cost estimates discussed with the TfL Board and Mayor were indicative and before the final scope and specification of the scheme were established or a decision to proceed with the project was made, and referred only to construction costs and not the associated other costs outlined above.
As you will be aware TfL already has £36m of sponsorship funding in place with Emirates and an application in for a further £8m of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) which will cover a significant portion of the capital cost of the project and minimise any cost to the taxpayer. It is envisaged that the revenue generated will, over time, cover all costs.