diamond geezer

 Saturday, October 08, 2011

Here's what naked commercialism looks like.
Mayor secures Emirates Airline as private sponsor for pioneering new Thames crossing
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced that global airline Emirates will sponsor London's exciting new cable car river crossing, to be known as the Emirates Air Line, in a ten-year deal worth £36m. The Emirates Air Line will connect north and south London, travelling between two new stations set to be named Emirates Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Royal Docks.
Here's what £3.6 million quid a year gets you...
  • a cable car system shamelessly named after your airline company (the Emirates Air Line)
  • the station at one end cumbersomely named after your airline company (Emirates Greenwich Peninsula)
  • the station at the other end clumsily named after your airline company (Emirates Royal Docks)
  • the cable car system, and its sponsored name, and the two stations, and their sponsored names, plastered all over millions of copies of the tube map until 2022
  • a red line on the tube map, in your official corporate colour, joining one sponsored station to the other sponsored station (in a garish, extremely distracting way)
  • a new roundel, wider than usual, in corporate red, slapped on the gondolas and the stations and the maps and any other promotional material you can get away with
    The sponsorship deal secured by the Mayor and TfL will see Emirates provide significant private sector investment to this new transport scheme totalling £36m.
    Here's what £36 million quid doesn't get you...
  • enough money to fund the construction of the cable car out of private funds (which leaves umpteen millions to be paid by the public out of TfL's rail budget)
    Scheduled for completion in summer 2012 the Emirates Air Line will offer commuters and visitors majestic aerial views as they travel across the Thames and provide a much needed additional river crossing.
    If it's ready for the Olympics (big if), the cablecar will be a convenient additional transport option between two major Games venues. Even if it's not ready for the Olympics, the cablecar will be a popular tourist attraction. Whether it's ready for the Olympics or not, the cablecar will provide additional cross-river resilience if ever the Jubilee line or Blackwall Tunnel are closed. Whenever it's ready, the cablecar will be bugger all use for commuters, saving incredibly few of them very little time.
    With capacity to carry up to 2,500 people per hour in each direction in the peak, equivalent to 30 buses per hour, the Emirates Air Line will be the first of a package of measures to improve river crossings in east London. It is anticipated it will carry two million passengers per year.
    Two million passengers a year? That isn't much. It's only 5500 passengers a day - the equivalent of two hours peak-time capacity. It seems that nobody expects this cablecar to be packed, nor even busy. That'll be because it goes from not-quite The O2 to not-quite the Excel exhibition centre, which isn't a journey 99.99% of London's population ever needs to make. For comparison, the Woolwich Ferry carries two and a half million passengers a year, in three clapped-out ferries running not terribly often.
    The Emirates Air Line will be a key element of the Mayor's vision to transform east London into a bustling metropolitan quarter teeming with new businesses, entertainment and leisure facilities supported by world-class transportation.
    No, the Emirates Air Line is an unnecessary shiny thing, conjured up by a Mayor who likes building unnecessary shiny things because they make it look like he's doing something. A big red tower by the Olympic Stadium - unnecessary, shiny, ticketed. A new red bus with a rear platform - unnecessary, shiny, expensive. Barclay-blue cycle lanes across the city - unnecessary, shiny, sponsored. A floating airport in the Thames estuary - unnecessary, shiny, dead. And now a suspended advert for a foreign airline as a tourist's plaything linking nowhere useful - unnecessary, shiny, irrelevant. Of all the things £60m could have been spent on, why this?
    Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: 'This multi-million pound deal is tremendous news for London, helping us to deliver a new addition to the city's skyline.
    No, this is a vanity project, a social irrelevance, pimping transport infrastructure to the highest bidder, on the the day Boris prostituted the tube map. Four more years, anyone?

    » The Emirates <spit> Air Line (official TfL project webpage)
    » Emirates airline press release (they're almost as chuffed as when they snared Arsenal)
    » Varied reaction from local media


  • << click for Newer posts

    click for Older Posts >>


    click to return to the main page


    ...or read more in my monthly archives
    Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17
    Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
    Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
    Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
    Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
    Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
    Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
    Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
    Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
    Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
    Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
    Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
    Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
    Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
    Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
     Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

    eXTReMe Tracker
    jack of diamonds
    Life viewed from London E3

    » email me
    » follow me on twitter
    » follow the blog on Twitter
    » follow the blog on RSS

    my flickr photostream