The green dream is over. Five years after plans to build the Garden Bridge were announced, it’s finally admitted defeat.
After generating its fair share of headlines for controversial use of public funds, the Garden Bridge Trust confirmed today that the structure won’t be going ahead after all – even though it’s already cost the taxpayer £37.4 million in pre-construction work.
The cancellation of the project comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan pulled his support for the bridge in April this year.
The new bridge, originally suggested by London luvvie Joanna Lumley and later backed by former Mayor Boris Johnson, was planned to be a pedestrian-only paradise, providing a leafy link across the Thames connecting Temple with South Bank.
Seen as a vanity project by many, the bridge quickly attracted a lot of opposition when it was revealed that building it would cost £200 million, plus a further £3 million a year to run. Most of which would come from the taxpayer.
Head of the Garden Bridge Trust Lord Mervyn Davis released a statement today confirming that the project would wind up immediately. He said:
‘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... It is a sad day for London because it is sending out a message to the world that we can no longer deliver such exciting projects.’
As the news broke online, Londoners seem pretty pleased that it’s all over.
For those worried about how they’ll cross the river now that the Garden Bridge is dead, just take a right and walk along Waterloo Bridge instead. Sorted (and no cash spent)!
In more positive green news, did you hear that the Camden High Line could soon be a reality?