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Thames cable car opens

The Emirates Air Line Photo: London Tonight

Commuting by cable car came to the UK today as a River Thames crossing with a difference opened to the public.

The Emirates Air Line, a £44 million cable car system spanning the Thames in London, was officially launched by London mayor Boris Johnson.

Ahead of the public opening, Mr Johnson rode one of the cable cars, which will whisk passengers almost 300ft above the river between Greenwich, by the 02 Arena in south London, and the Royal Docks, by the ExCel exhibition centre to the north.

Each car provides 360-degree views taking in the City, Canary Wharf, historic Greenwich, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park.

Emerging at Greenwich after his crossing, Mr Johnson said: "Get on this cable car immediately. It's beautiful, worth every penny and a stunning piece of engineering."

He added that the new system would provide a much-needed connection across the Thames and become "a must-see destination in its own right".

Boris arrives on first cable car at the Greenwich Peninsula Credit: London Tonight.