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Garden Bridge officially axed

Garden bridge

The Garden Bridge has been pulled by the Garden Bridge Trust, putting the final nail in the coffin for the troubled project.

The trust said it would be winding up the project after mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced in April that he would not provide a guarantee for maintenance costs of the bridge. His decision followed a report by Dame Margaret Hodge, which recommended scrapping the project as it was “poor value for money”.

Khan recently told LBC Radio that taxpayers should “wave goodbye” to the almost £50M of public money already spent on the bridge.

Today (Monday) the trust said it had informed the Department for Trabsport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) of its decision. It had been in conversation with a benefactor which had not come to anything, and as a result had decided not to continue with the Heatherwick Studio-designed bridge.

“It is with great regret that Trustees have concluded that without Mayoral support the project cannot be delivered. We are incredibly sad that we have not been able to make the dream of the Garden Bridge a reality and that the Mayor does not feel able to continue with the support he initially gave us. We had made great progress obtaining planning permission, satisfying most of our planning conditions and we had raised £70M of private money towards the project,” said Garden Bridge Trust chair Lord Mervyn Davis.

“The Garden Bridge would have been a unique place; a beautiful new green space in the heart of London, free to use and open to all, showcasing the best of British talent and innovation. It is all the more disappointing because the Trust was set up at the request of TfL, the organisation headed up by the Mayor, to deliver the project. It is a sad day for London because it is sending out a message to the world that we can no longer deliver such exciting projects.

“I would like to thank our donors and supporters, who gave us unstinting help and support along the way.”

Contracts for the project will now be terminated, as will donor funding arrangements, and the trust itself will be closed down.

The Department for Transport and the mayor of London have been contacted for comment.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • At last common sense prevails - the country does not need another self indulgent development in Londo- centric Britain. Why should the tax paying residents of London be expected underwrite the maintenenace of the bridge for its anticipated life - a blank cheque that future generations would have to honour. Let's have a decent electrified rail network in the North of England before Crossrail 2 and more crackpot bridge projects are dreamt of in London.

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  • Couldn't agree more with No 1.

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  • Agreed.

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  • Good news.
    I would like to hope that those responsible for wasting so much public money on such an ill-conceived scheme will in due course be surcharged, but I realise that's as likely as any meaningful investment in cross-Pennine rail electrification.

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