Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has written to the Garden Bridge Trust to withdraw his support for the Garden Bridge Project, the proposed landscape pedestrian bridge over the River Thames in London.
In a letter to the Chair of the Garden Bridge Trust, the Lord Mayor Mervyn Davis informed him that the GLA will not be providing mayoral support for the Garden Bridge Project.
The Mayor stated that the continuation of the project would expose “London taxpayer’s to additional financial risk in regards to the bridges construction and its operation and maintenance costs.”
£60 million of taxpayer’s money has already been spent on the project, with its costs continuing to soar and the project now faces a funding gap of £70 million. The project’s costs are set to escalate above £200 million and have already lost two major private donors.
In Dame Margaret Hodge’s independent review of the Garden Bridge Project, she found “that the purpose of the bridge remains unclear” and the “decision on the Garden Bridge were driven more by electoral cycles than value for taxpayer’s money”.
The report also unveiled that “there was not an open, fair and competitive process around the two TFL procurements for the Garden Bridge Project. The two procurements revealed systemic failures and ineffective control systems at many levels.”
During his Mayoral campaign Mr Khan did support plans to build London Garden Bridge but since the release of Dame Margaret Hodge’s independent review and an assessment of all information he has withdrawn his support.
Khan wrote to the Chairman today that City Hall will not be providing operations and maintenance guarantees. Without them the project will not meet the conditions of the planning approval from Lambeth and Westminster Councils so construction cannot start.