Mott MacDonald sees benefit of cable cars as a viable urban transport option

Mott MacDonald senior project manager Steven Wilson told attendees at the People Movers seminar of the potential benefits of developing cable cars as viable and iconic urban transport solutions. The event, held at Devonshire Square in London, also offered a unique opportunity for professionals to hear about the latest developments in personal rapid transit and guideway systems.

In his presentation Steven provided a background to the different types of cable car systems available – mono-cables, bi-cable and tri-cables, reversible ropeways and aerial tramways – and highlighted the circumstances under which a cable car might be most appropriate.

“Cable cars are the best option where there is a need to move people across a significant barrier, such as waterways, difficult terrain which is too steep for road or rail networks, existing transport infrastructure such as motorways and in areas of traffic congestion where there is limited space for on-ground transport,” Steven commented.

The presentation also evaluated the advantages of cable cars over other transport systems, such as the small physical and environmental footprint and lower capital and operational costs in comparison to bridges or tunnels. They are also an iconic addition to a city’s skyline.

Steven added: “Cable cars can be easily integrated into an urban transport network through common ticketing, signage and architectural language. They work on proven technology used in thousands of systems worldwide and can be applied to a variety of different settings and purposes. They also support regeneration and can bring funding opportunities through corporate sponsorship.”

Mott MacDonald has been assisting Transport for London (TfL) as engineering support consultant and technical advisor for the London cable car, which will run across the River Thames connecting Greenwich and the Royal Victoria Docks carrying up to 2,500 passengers per hour each way. The project is due for completion in summer 2012.


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About Mott MacDonald

Mott MacDonald is a global management, engineering and development consultancy with more than 14,000 staff, £1 billion revenue and work in 140 countries for the public and private sectors. The employee-owned company is ranked 13th in the 2011 Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For survey and was awarded Engineering Consultant of the Year at the 2011 Building Awards. Mott MacDonald’s core business sectors cover buildings, transport, energy, water, environment, health, education, industry, oil and gas, communications and international development.

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