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Garden Bridge final cost revealed as TfL bosses hand over texts

3117080 gardenbridge arup

More than £53M was spent on the Garden Bridge project before it was scrapped, Transport for London (TfL) has revealed.

The taxpayer funded £43M of the total spend – £24M put up by TfL with an additional £19M from the Department for Transport (DfT) – while private investors coughed up £10.5M.

The final cost comes after TfL handed over a final payment of £5.5M to the charity behind the project to cover future liabilities and contingencies associated with the formal wind-up of the organisation.

The revelations come as the deadline for TfL bosses to hand over personal messages about the controversial project passed.

The London Assembly demanded to see any notes, text messages and/or social media messages sent or received in the time period 1 March 2018 to 25 January 2019 between the Garden Bridge Trust and/or the Trust’s professional advisors and the TfL bosses.

This included any correspondence involving TfL commissioner Mike Brown, TfL head of corporate affairs Andy Brown, TfL general counsel Howard Carter, TfL solicitor Charles Ritchie and TfL director of city planning Alex Williams. 

A London Assembly spokesperson confirmed that summons documents had been handed over and a review period of those documents would now take place. 

Last year it was revealed that £14.3M was spent on pre-construction costs during 2017 even though planning permission had never been granted.

This includes winding-up costs paid to a joint venture between Bouygues and Cimolai which was appointed as the main contractor to build the bridge in April 2015.

TfL director of city planning Alex Williams said: “We worked to ensure that the cost to the public sector has been kept to a minimum, and having carefully reviewed the Garden Bridge Trust’s request, we have now confirmed the final payment legally required under the terms of the underwriting agreement made by the government.

“This formally ends our involvement with the project.”

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