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Source: Daily Telegraph
By David Millward 

A cable car which will shuttle people over the Thames in east London is set to begin operation on June 28, nearly a month ahead of the Olympics, it was announced last night.

In recent weeks safety tests of the £50 million network had been taking place in the hope that it will be ready by the time the Games start on July 27.

There had been fears that the Emirates Airline, as the network will be known, would not be ready in time for the Games.

But Justine Greening, the Transport Secretary, whose approval was required for the scheme to go ahead, has given the project the green light.

Her officials had been working closely with the contractors to make sure the deadline was met.

The cars will carry spectators and potentially competitors across the Thames in a journey lasting around five minutes

In all there will be 34 cable cars carrying 2,500 passengers an hour between the ExCel Arena north of the Thames and the O2 arena, formerly the Millennium Dome.

Although the gondolas, which will travel 160 feet above the river, are due to be an eye-catching feature, they are seen as a vital cross-Thames link in east London and part of the drive to regenerate the local economy.

A single crossing will cost £3.20 and be available on an Oyster card. A “frequent flyer” pass for those who commute across the river, will enable passengers to by 10 journeys for £16.