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London, UK - October 10th 2018: the Emirates Airline cable car crosses the Thames of London during sunset with skyline scenery
Photograph: Shutterstock

TfL’s cable cars are getting a serious glow-up next month

The former Emirates Airline is getting sponsored by IFS

Written by
Alex Sims

For ten years, the London cable car has stretched high above the Thames like a mighty winged chariot chugging people looking to soak up the city skyline from North Greenwich to the Royal Docks and back again. 

Constructed in 2012, as the east of the city underwent a huge metamorphosis for the London Olympics, the cable car was one of the shiny new additions to the capital, that along with the Olympic Stadium and Anish Kapoor’s squiggly red ArcelorMittal Orbit, turned a former no-go area of the East End into a shiny landmark spot. 

Since the games, the cable car has been sponsored by Emirate Airlines, whose red branding has become synonymous with the grand chair lift 90m above town. But, after a decade of repping the landmark, Emirates’ sponsorship deal came to a close in June and the cable car has been in a patron-less wilderness. Until now. 

IFS Cloud Car
Photograph: Transport for London

Transport for London has announced that technology company IFS (yeah, us neither) will be the new sponsors of the cable car line and, as part of their takeover, they’ll be rebranding it the ‘IFS Cloud Car’ with snazzy purple cars complete with a cloud motif, while the two cable car terminals will also be renamed ‘IFS Cloud Greenwich Peninsula’ and ‘IFS Cloud Royal Docks’. 

This latest evolution of the cable car is set to start in October with the new glow-up fully complete by the end of the month. A one-way ride over the river will still cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. Or, if you’re after more of a party vibe, you’re allowed to cram up to ten people into one of the pods. Now, it also links with the shiny new Elizabeth line and provides a direct route to the new City Hall based beside the north terminal in Newham.

Not yet made a pilgrimage on London’s highline? According to TfL, the cable car has hauled tens of millions of people across the Thames, whom we can only imagine must be tourists looking for a cheap thrill for the day or eccentric London commuters after an off-piste way to get to work. So why not join them, now it’s made a chameleon-like change from red to purple. It’s a darn sight cheaper than the London Eye, after all.

Some transport news that’s not quite so rosy: the latest train strikes.

More riverside changes: Battersea Power Station is opening to the public after 40 years closed.

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