THE GARDEN BRIDGE project has been hurried through by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and a close circle of allies without proper public consultation, full disclosure or spread of information through the planning process and without long term funding in place.
Between £60m and £150m pounds of taxpayers money will be spent on this project which not only doesn’t offer London residents any tangible improvement to their city, it inflicts huge damage:
A critical stretch of the South Bank river walkway will be narrowed hugely whilst simultaneously inviting an extra 7million people..
Public space in Lambeth is being sold for an unknown price, while many trees and much greenspace is ironically being sacrificed for a ‘green’ project. The public space, currently grass and trees, would instead be used by the private developer for retail, queuing and a platform for corporate entertainment.
Views in both directions up and down the river will be irreversibly lost. The famous views from Waterloo Bridge will be lost, Somerset House will no longer be visible from the eastern South Bank and St Pauls will be obliterated from a long stretch of the riverside path. All the ‘artist impressions’ for the bridge are from an imaginary floating position in the sky, not from the viewpoint of a citizen on the ground.
While some parts of London need a new pedestrian river crossing, this area is well catered for with a number of bridges nearby.
With queues of up to 2,500 people entry to the bridge will not be a functional piece of transport infrastructure.
It is fundamentally not a part of Transport for London’s remit, despite their money being used on the construction.
The technology is untested and potentially flawed. While designer Thomas Heatherwick has great creative imagination, previous ‘groundbreaking’ schemes have failed. The B of the Bang sculpture in Manchester shed deadly javelin spikes and was removed, the Blue Carpet in Newcastle is a moribund grey and the New Bus for London which overheats without opening windows or air-con. The risk here is this untested technology will fail, like the first generations of living walls, and we will be left with a vast failng garden with huge costs to maintain.
The £3.5m annual maintenance costs are somewhat plucked from the air and nobody really knows the true costs – which hasn’t stopped the Mayor committing public money, through Transport for London, to underwrite these costs.
The planning process was flawed and did not provide critical information relating to views or funding, despite this and widespread protest it was pushed through.
This project is a totally undemocratic one which has been pushed onto an uninformed electorate at their expense, by a few well-connected people.
THAMES CENTRAL OPEN SPACES
LINK have been relentlessly fighting The Garden Bridge using all available means to citizens not with connections to people in positions of political power.