London’s garden bridge: the end of the road?

  • But Transport for London (TfL) and the Garden Bridge Trust have carried on regardless, egged on by powerful Bullingdon backers, mayor Boris Johnson and chancellor George Osborne.
  • The president of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association has described it as a “vanity project of a windswept garden on an unneeded bridge”, while leading bridge engineers have called it a “private garden platform pretending to be a bridge”.
  • The National Audit Office has been ordered to examine the “rationale” behind George Osborne’s pledge of £30m of Treasury funding for the bridge.
  • Their correspondence over funding the bridge was recently uncovered by the Architects’ Journal, in which Osborne spelled out his £30m grant and urged Johnson to “do the same”.
  • Opponents have objected to the £60m of public funding and the £3.5m annual maintenance costs, to the restricted access for bikes and to the murky procurement process, which saw Thomas Heatherwick appointed ahead of other experienced bridge designers.