diamond geezer

 Wednesday, November 08, 2023

And so ends diamond geezer's first ever Dangleway week. I doubt there'll be a second because there's only so much content I can squeeze out of a few branded cabins crossing a river, and coming up with another 15 fresh ideas would be tough. But thank you for your trickle of comments, a response which reflects the esteem the cable car holds in the hearts of Londoners, and perhaps we all learned something along the way. As we return to ground level I hope some of you have enjoyed this whistlestop three-day week (and if you haven't it's OK, you can come back now).

Danglegeek (6) Final facts
Here are 15 things I never mentioned this week but could have done.

• Did you know that if your Dangleway journey is delayed for 15 minutes or more by bad weather, customer incidents, engineering works, security alerts or strikes you may be able to get a refund. It says so on the delay repay webpage.
• According to the TfL website, one of the attractions to visit near the north terminal is Newham City Farm, even though it's been closed for 3½ years.
• The Dangleway's Christmas makeover, in which you can "join Santa's elves and Mrs Claus on an interactive adventure", starts on 25th November.
• The postcodes for the two terminals are E16 1FA and SE10 0FR.
FoI fact 1: During the financial year April 2022 – March 2023, daily average energy consumption recorded at the meter points associated with the IFS Cable Car was 2943 kilowatt hours (kWh).
• The cablecar crosses the Silvertown Tunnel twice, once just after launch on the southern side and once close to the DLR on the northern side.
• IFS Cloud are now one year into their five year sponsorship deal, but have a two-year break clause so could withdraw on 20th October 2024.
• The cablecar can move up to 5000 people per hour ("the same as nearly 60 double decker buses"). It actually moves, on average, about 300 people per hour (the same as 4 double decker buses).
FoI fact 2: Capital investment on renewal of assets and minor enhancements of the infrastructure has been £3,478,425 to date from June 2012 to March 2023.
• The monthly livestream series 'Conversations in the Cloud' started in March 2023, featuring inspiring Londoners aboard the cablecar talking about how much they like the cablecar. 654 people have watched the first episode with Guvna B on YouTube, Kae Kurd got 388, the Coronation edition 708, Comic Con 315 and the Pride special 376. The conversation dried up four months ago.
• To see how tourists adore the cablecar, check out #londoncablecar on TikTok.
• The cablecar is open 99 hours a week.
FoI fact 3: The budget for the Cable Car in 2023-24 shows a direct operating surplus before capital renewals of £2.6m.
• If this week has encouraged you to plaster the cablecar across your socials, TfL have 23 official animated gifs for you to choose from.
• Guests with bicycles travel for free on the cable car before 09:30 on weekdays, excluding bank holidays. I feel this can never be mentioned often enough.

Danglewatch (6) Wikidangling
I have a particular interest in the opening sentence of the Wikipedia page for the London cable car because of one particular word which keeps being added and taken out. It first appeared in January 2015...
The Emirates Air Line (also known as the Thames cable car or dangleway) is a ten-minute (five minutes in rush hour) gondola lift link across the River Thames in London, England built by Doppelmayr with sponsorship from the airline Emirates.
...but only survived 2 months before it was edited out. Someone tried again in 2016.
The Emirates Air Line (also known as the Dangleway) is a cable car link across the River Thames in London, England built by Doppelmayr with sponsorship from the airline Emirates.
This only lasted three hours. It came back in 2017, this time for four weeks.
The Emirates Air Line ('Dangleway') is a cable car link across the River Thames in London, England built by Doppelmayr with sponsorship from the airline Emirates.
Then user Dubmill said, "Removed 'dangleway'. This term is not widely enough used to warrant being given as an alternative name." It didn't return until December 2021.
The Emirates Air Line, nicknamed the Dangleway[3][4] is a cable car link across the River Thames in London, England, built by Doppelmayr with sponsorship from the airline Emirates.
This lasted ten months until Buttons0603, an editor from Sheffield, took exception. Six days later, in The Dangleway Battle of 2 November 2022, it went back in.
The London Cable Car,[3][4] known for sponsorship reasons as the IFS Cloud Cable Car, and nicknamed '''the Dangleway''',[5][6] is a cable car link across the River Thames in London, England.
Buttons0603 wasn't having that ("It's not called the fucking Dangleway") and took it out, but was overruled due to 'Persistent disruptive editing'. The word Dangleway has appeared in the opening sentence ever since, so that's almost two years now, and I for one am inordinately proud.

Danglewatch (5) Marketing the brand
Alight at Royal Victoria station and adverts for the Dangleway are emblazoned across every surface on the platforms and all along the footbridge. Emerge from North Greenwich station and a sponsored gondola hangs at the top of the escalators. But elsewhere across the network Dangleway advertising is somewhat muted, and since Emirates were replaced by IFS Cloud more muted still.

This is one end of the Jubilee line platform at Waterloo station. It's only 5 stops to North Greenwich so tourists doing the central sights are subjected to multiple Dangleway adverts to nudge them eastwards. Purple 'Take to the cloud' banners have been stuck prominently above all the entrances to the platforms (see above). But in the foreground of my photo is the previous campaign - things to do along the Jubilee line - where the previous sponsor is still enjoying unpaid-for promotion.

There used to be a lot more cablecar pluggery along the Jubilee line, at some stations a phenomenal amount, but this all appears to have been rolled back. I didn't spot anything at Baker Street, not any more, nor at London Bridge. On the DLR they've also removed the vinyls at Tower Gateway, where the platforms and escalator used to be utterly plastered, as if IFS have paid less for their contract and mass marketing is not part of the deal. You can see this even more clearly on the line diagrams in Jubilee line carriages. These don't mention IFS, they use the generic name London Cable Car (ensuring line diagrams don't need stickering or replacing next time the sponsor changes).

But on Crossrail there's never any mention at all. That's interesting because Custom House is relatively close to the north terminal, about an 8 minute walk, and other line diagrams mention connections of a similar length. Even if you alight at Custom House there are zero signs outside the station to point tourists and delegates towards the cable car, although City Hall is fully arrowed and that's even further away. The Dangleway continues to appear on the tube map as an intrusive red streak, but elsewhere publicity is most definitely dying down.

Danglequiz (3) Wordsearch
This wordsearch contains the names of IFS Cloud Cable Car terminals.
How many can you find?

Answers in the comments box and, please, just one guess each.

Danglegeek (5) The nearest bus stops
The nearest stations to the Dangleway are clear - Royal Victoria to the north and North Greenwich to the south. But where's the nearest place to catch a bus? I ask because it's not terribly close at all.

The simplest situation is south of the Thames - it's the bus station at North Greenwich. Bus Stop A at the tip of the concourse is the closest, 300m away as the crow flies, although in real life you have to filter through or round the Design District which'll take at least 4 minutes. I always think it's odd there are no bus stops along the Pilot Busway before you get to the Ecology Park, a gap of over half a mile and an increasing inconvenience for those who now live inbetween. Until that's filled, a hike to the bus station it is.

North of the Thames it's rather messier.

Royal Victoria still has a spider map which purports to show the closest bus stops to the station. Emerge from the eastbound platform and it's only a 1 minute walk to Bus Stop J for onward connections to Canning Town. But for buses to Ilford and Manor Park the stops are much further away, almost as if they tried to make the gap as wide as possible with the station bang in the middle. And it's much much worse starting from the cable car because the only way to reach these bus stops is up and over the vertiginous footbridge at the DLR station (37 steps up and 48 back down, or two slow lifts). Dangleway to Bus Stop J takes at least 5 minutes, while to N or G is a massive 6½.

But there are two closer bus stops, they're just not on the map. Route 330 stops on the Silvertown Viaduct, past City Hall, and if you walk up there you can be at the bus stop in 4 minutes. Or at least you could, except they've just closed it permanently and are constructing a new one (with a shelter) another minute further up the road. The viaduct is in an extraordinary state at the moment, its road surface scraped away while cycle connections to City Hall are improved. This also means the bus stop on the other side of the road, the one that'll take you somewhere useful, is currently inaccessible.

In summary the nearest bus stops to the southern terminal are at least 4 minutes walk away and those on the northern side at best 5, perhaps 6½. And all because - and this is my main point - the cablecar has never been properly integrated with the local bus network. Dead-end streets mean buses can't practically stop outside, but even routes which pass close by don't have bus stops in useful places. If the Dangleway were a genuine public transport mode this would be important, but as we all know it isn't so my bus stop analysis has alas been inherently pointless.

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