green go-ahead for London Eye

A £12.5 million upgrade is to turn the capital's iconic London Eye into a more environmentally friendly attraction.

Heating and ventilation is to be made more energy efficient in each of the 32 capsules on the wheel, its owner Merlin Entertainment Group has said.

Work will begin this summer and continue until 2012 but the London Eye will not be closed to visitors during this time.

That is because each capsule will be worked upon one at a time, with a replacement capsule in place while the original is being revamped.

David Sharpe, divisional director at Merlin Entertainments Group, said: "This will ensure the London Eye operates at maximum efficiency and is cutting down its carbon footprint well into the future."

The London Eye attracts an average of 10,000 visitors per day, which equates to around 3.5 million a year. It opened in 2000 to herald the millennium and is the world's largest cantilever wheel.

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