Garden Bridge Over The Thames Moves Forward

By M@ Last edited 54 months ago
Garden Bridge Over The Thames Moves Forward

Remember those plans to build a 'garden bridge' across the Thames? Turns out that there may be more to the idea than an 'oo, wouldn't that be nice?'. A public consultation begins today, and the gorgeous new image heading our gallery above has just been released.

The 360-metre-long pedestrian bridge, originally suggested by Joanna Lumley, is designed by Thomas Heatherwick, a man who has already contributed much to the capital with projects such as the New Bus For London and the Olympic Cauldron. It would be built between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges, linking the Temple area to the Southbank, where the ITV tower stands.

The consultation is organised by the newly appointed The Garden Bridge Trust, and supported by Transport for London. Public feedback on matters such as the landscaping and materials used will be fed into the planning application in the first few months of 2014.

If the planning process runs smoothly, the Trust hopes to open the bridge in 2018. About half the £150 million price tag has already been offered by private donors and the Mayor and relevant local authorities are supportive. The Evening Standard has more detail on the background and its chances of being built. Its report is extremely positive, but then the newspaper's owner Evgeny Lebedev is 'governor' of the project.

Quite a few answers are missing from the narrative at this stage, however. How will the remainder of the bridge be funded? Is it seen as a genuinely useful bit of infrastructure, or as another bauble to attract tourists, or both? Who's on the board of the Garden Bridge Trust, and who appointed them? Will there be any cycling provision, or is it (as the images suggest) pedestrian only, and can the consultation influence this?

But questions aside, if the project can be entirely financed from private funds, and avoid becoming a branded sponsor billboard, then it's hard not to be enchanted at the prospect of a glorious garden over the Thames.

You can provide comments on the proposal through The Garden Bridge Trust website until 20 December.

Last Updated 01 November 2013


The London Bridge Trust seems an obvious player.

Katie G

A beautiful idea but personally I'd like to see it incorporated as part of the nine elms redevelopment, there's a lot of bridges (and lovely skylines/money/tourists) going on in that stretch of the Thames already, it would be nice to have an extra attraction upstream.

Silvia M.

Love the idea!

Nicolas Chinardet

It's lovely BUT:
- this is probably not the best location for it: there are already plenty of crossing at the point of the river
- it should include cycling provisions (perhaps in a lower tier or on the side).


Apart from the foliage I find the bridge to be quite ugly. And London has had too much ugly architecture in recent decades.

The Taylor

I love this. If it's even half as good as New York's High Line, it will be a huge success. Useful, tourist attraction or just another great aspect of London, I'm easy with all three...

Tom Holder

We do not need another bridge in the centre of London - we need one between rotherhithe and canary wharf for pedestrian commuters


It will serve as a massive contribution to nature!!!


Absolute no to cyclists! They are already a significant danger to pedestrians in London and having them treat this as just another racetrack would be a travesty.


I can't really see the point of this - okay apart from getting more tourists on it maybe. Don't be fooled by believing this is going to be a "contribution to nature" as somebody said. The carbon footprint of creating the bridge and then building a garden on it (not to mention maintaining it) I bet surpasses by far the overall lifetime environmental benefits having it all together in the first place. So yeah, as controversial as it may sounds, building a garden like this actually probably hurts the environment. Why not just develop another park somewhere where the soil and land is already there instead of creating it on top of a river or at least stop pitching it (directly or indirectly) as a "green project"?!


Um, a garden bridge? Oh yea, we totally need one of them what with the homeless, high crime rate, high unemployment and economic crisis not to mention the millions of pounds that disappear into politicians' pockets in expenses every year. A garden bridge would totally make that sooo much better. Maybe all those sick people that can't get treatment because of NHS cuts can sit in it n look at something picturesque to distract them from their suffering! Sterling idea.

Roger Manser

Brunel! One end of the bridge begins at Temple, where there is a larger-than-life, but forgotten statue of Brunel, the engineer. Can this statue be re-sited on the bridge as part of the landscaping? That would be fitting after Danny Boyle's Olympic introduction...


Can we have another tunnel instead - to relieve the Blackwall tunnel a bit - with some kind of arresting design?

Tom Papworth

"if the project can be entirely financed from private funds, and avoid becoming a branded sponsor billboard, then it’s hard not to be enchanted at the prospect of a glorious garden over the Thames."

Agreed. No taxpayer funding, please.

And I totally agree with people saying the transport connectivity is needed to the East (though that's definitely a road, rather than pedestrian/cyclist, bridge).

Steven Boxall

Does theMayor of London's strategy for London identify the need for a new bridge here, and identify the problems which a new bridge will solve? If not, it is a tourist bauble.

bryan thomas

Beautiful idea, but what about the affordable housing bridge? or the business starter units bridge? Address some social issues architects and soneone may take you seriously for a change. Even a wildlife haven bridge would be better than this suburban pretentions prettiness.


waste of money - dump it


Architect Raymond Hall has been working on a living bridge across the Thames for over decade. His plans have developed immensely when I last saw him a few months back from this video, which gives an outline to his early thoughts Many of us were sceptical when he first began mentioning it but his latest drawings etc seem perfectly viable and very original in thought. His idea is to work with the tidal flow to protect London once the Thames barrier is decommissioned, create a new bridge underneath a couple of hundred flats with parking, a park walk way - even the power (and water supply I think - need to check Ed!) are self sufficient. Ambitious yes, clever yes, and if you could afford a flat, amazing views!

RED Milliband

As it is to be a garden bridge it should reflect tranquility with no bicycles or telephones. Plonk a signal blocker on the bridge. Available via well known auction site.


We need a river crossing East of Tower Bridge and affordable housing more than this.

Though I understand London needs these things to bring in even more tourists with cash to spend!


Is there really a good reason to build another bridge over the Thames? There are lots of places that one should exist, but i hardly think that the area between Blackfriars and Waterloo is as badly served as, let's say, the whole of London east of Tower Bridge, where there is NOTHING.


nice idea but I would rather see loos and libraries kept open - or green spaces protected, they want to build on our old hospital site and it's home to much wildlife, including hedgehogs which I believe are quite endangered these days..certainly haven't seen one since childhood