A press release from TfL this morning announces:
- A ‘world-class consortium’, headed by Mace who are currently working on the Shard, to build and operate the structure.
- Building work to begin ‘this summer’.
- Aiming to complete before the Olympics (although not guaranteed).
- Providing ‘a spectacular architectural addition to London and a much needed river crossing in this area’.
- Structure designed ‘to the highest standard’ by Wilkinson Eyre.
- Scheme will be part of Oyster network.
TfL will be providing seed money up-front, but will seek to recoup costs on the £50.5 million scheme via private sponsorship and ticket sales.
This unusual transport link has the doughy whiff of ‘bread and circuses’ about it. A crowd pleaser not only delivered just in time for the Olympics, but perhaps just in time for the mayoral elections next year.
Still, reasons can always be found to nay-say any high-profile development. This latter-day Millennium Project might just have enough romance to succeed…providing the taxpayer doesn’t end up keeping the bill.