Garden Bridge Set To Become A Reality

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 41 months ago
Garden Bridge Set To Become A Reality

An artist's impression of the Garden Bridge. Image by Arup.

A £175 million 'Garden Bridge' over the Thames is set to go ahead, after Westminster Council gave it the green light at a standing-room-only meeting last night.

Planning authority Lambeth Council approved plans last month, leaving just the final hurdle of formal approval from the Mayor of London, who is in favour of the bridge which will span the Thames from Temple tube station to the South Bank, just in front of the ITV studios.

There have been objections to the plans from a variety of organisations, which are concerned about the impact of the expected seven million visitors each year. Many cyclists, too, are upset that the bridge will be be only open to pedestrians.

So far, £90 million towards the cost of the attraction has been pledged by the government, Transport for London (TfL) and private donors.

Why is TfL contributing £30 million towards this project, when there's so much other work to be done on infrastructure in the city? The decision to invest was imposed on the body by the Mayor, who justified the decision (PDF) by saying the bridge will create more opportunities for walking in the capital, thereby reducing traffic; it will improve economic development on both sides of the river; it will generate health benefits; and will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors.

The bridge is expected to open in 2018.

Last Updated 03 December 2014


"The decision to invest was imposed on the body by the Mayor, who justified the decision (PDF) by saying the bridge will create more opportunities for walking in the capital, thereby reducing traffic"

That is total rubbish from the Mayor - pedestrians can already walk across Waterloo / Blackfriars bridges - and will probably be quicker to use these routes even once the Garden bridge opens as its narrow pathways will likely be choked with dawdling tourists.

The mayor should call it what it is - a publicly-funded tourist attraction - rather than try to pretend that he's building some vital new piece of infrastructure.

Jon Millwood

Still a waste of TfL and the treasury's cash. There are plenty of other tourist attraction projects both in London and other parks of the UK that the £30m from the treasury could help. I'm sure then £30m TfL are putting in could be spent on plenty of other road, tube or cycling infrastructure.


I don't have a problem with this being a (partially) publicly funded tourist attraction. London should invest in making itself even better and more beautiful - there's nothing crazy about that. It's why many of us live here in the first place. If you want to get all finicky, I'm sure the additional tourist revenue and agglomeration effects will cover the 30m before long.


In total agreement with the other comments. The Mayor's excuse is ridiculous, if anything, it's going to increase tube and bus traffic with visitors who want to see the bridge. I'm all for the Garden Bridge, but I'm shaking my head and tutting at BoJo

Greg Tingey

Total waste of money
The plants will almost certainly all wither, anyway! Think about it - exposed to wind & salt in small bodies of earth, subect to extreme temperature variations.


What a shame there will not be a separate lane for cyclists. Safe cycling lanes that's what this city needs!


Unbelievable. How on earth can tfl justify spending that much on something which contributes zero to our transportation infrastructure ? It has been explained that this is not intended as a method of crossing the river, but a park on it. This is just insane.