The first stage of a £12.5 million upgrade to Britain’s iconic London Eye has begun with the removal of the first of its 32 capsules.
The remaining capsules will be taken down for renovation one-by-one, with a dummy unoccupied capsule replacing them. The work is expected to be completed in time for the 2012 London Olympics.
The 10-tonne capsule was floated down the River Thames to Tilbury Docks in Essex, and taken to Worcester by lorry for refurbishment. The work will include the fitting of new heating and ventilation systems and entertainment facilities.
London mayor Boris Johnson said: “Our city has an unrivalled range of unique attractions that draw people from across the world and the much-loved London Eye is one of the most recognisable.
“This investment is fantastic news and underlines the commitment there is to ensuring the capital will be at its best and ready to welcome record numbers of visitors when we host the 2012 Games.”