The stunningly beautiful, structurally elegant and original new Tyne bridge and the awful, flawed London Millennium bridge were both the products of design competitions. This illustrates the weakness of this method of bridge selection.
There were over 50 entries for the Tyne bridge competition and more than 100 for the London bridge, so I find it difficult to believe there were not better alternatives available to the London judges.
Perhaps the solution to this problem is to ensure there is a majority of competent, experienced bridge engineers on competition judging panels.
It is OK to have laymen on the panel providing they are sensible people amenable to the logical views of the engineers.
John Bowerman (M), 81 The Balk, Walton, Wakefield, WF2 6JX