Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Khan Blamed for Sinking Garden Bridge; Thames Project Wound Up after Spending PS37m of Public Funds

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Khan Blamed for Sinking Garden Bridge; Thames Project Wound Up after Spending PS37m of Public Funds

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall Chief News Correspondent

SADIQ KHAN was today accused of scuppering the Garden Bridge as its backers announced they had decided to wind up the PS200 million project.

About PS37 million of public funds spent on preparatory work and in trying to overcome legal and planning hurdles will be lost.

The Garden Bridge Trust said it had "no choice" but to abandon the crossing, linking the South Bank and Temple, due to a "lack of support for the project going forward from the Mayor". First proposed in 2013 after a suggestion from actress Joanna Lumley to then-mayor Boris Johnson, the bridge's backers included "starchitects" Lord Rogers and Thomas Heatherwick, who was commissioned to draw up plans.

In April, Mr Khan effectively sounded the death knell by refusing to underwrite the expected PS3million annual running costs. This meant that planning permission, awarded in 2014, could not be ratified. It also scared off new benefactors, the trust said. Mr Khan's deci-sion came in spite of his long-standing support in principle for the bridge. He had said in February: "Given previous expenditure, the taxpayer will be better off if the bridge is built."

The Mayor did not want public funding to exceed the PS60million already pledged in grants and loans by the Government and Transport for London. But PS70million had been raised in private donations. The trustees asked by TfL in 2013 to take responsibility for delivering the bridge were confident more backers could be found to plug the remaining PS70 million funding gap.

Today Mervyn Davies, chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, wrote to Mr Khan: "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. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.