London Eye, Millennium Dome, helter-skelter, Cable Car, AccelorMittal Orbit...to the ranks of funfair London we can now add a kilometre-long walkway floating on the Thames.
The proposed pontoon would stretch from Blackfriars Bridge along to the Tower area, with periodic podules 'showcasing London'.
According to the Mayor:
"The sheer beauty and design brilliance of this structure will provide yet another amazing attraction for the capital."
But will the public be as buoyant as the structure? There are two obvious objections: the cost (£60 million), and the ruination of the river front by what some might see as a tawdry floating platform.
Both of these appear to have been addressed. Funding will come from the private sector, with interested parties already identified. The Mayor has apparently negotiated some kind of deal that would see 30% of profits going into the public purse. In terms of blighting views of the City, the structure would be regarded by planners as temporary. Much like the London Eye, popularity would dictate whether its lifetime is extended or not.
Various planning hurdles must now be overcome. If momentum can be sustained, the walkway, designed by Gensler, will be afloat in time for the Olympics. More info, and some hilariously bad architectural drawings, here.
Now, Londoners, what nickname should we give the structure?