By Max Clarke

Work on a cable car linking the O2 arena with the Royal Docks and ExCel is to begin this summer. Passengers will be lifted high over the river on the latest addition to London’s transport system, which will be part of the Oyster network.

“Gliding serenely through the air across the Thames will provide a truly sublime, bird's eye view of our wonderful city”, said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

“This innovative airborne travel link will be a vital component in the ongoing renaissance of a vibrant easterly quarter of the Capital, providing a much-needed river crossing.”

With construction to begin in the summer, it is hoped the scheme will be completed in time for the Olympics in just under a year: an extremely challenging timeline for a complex project.

Mace has been selected as lead contractor to build the cable car and operate it for three years. The company will lead a consortium of experts, including the cable car specialists, Dopplemayr, and Watson Steel, URS Scott Wilson, Buro Happold and Aedas.

The cable car has been designed to the highest standards by Wilkinson Eyre. Mace has a strong track record of delivering innovative projects including the London Eye, the company is currently constructing the Shard Tower in London and is involved in a consortium to deliver the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Stadium.

Transport for London (TfL) also announced today the start of a competitive process for commercial partners who want to invest in the scheme in return for the rights to associated commercial sponsorship opportunities, including naming rights and branding options.