Sadiq Halts Work On Garden Bridge

By Zoe Craig Last edited 94 months ago

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Last Updated 11 July 2016

Sadiq Halts Work On Garden Bridge
The planned Garden Bridge. Image by ARUP

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has effectively halted work on the Garden Bridge over concerns that more public money could be required for the project.

The latest problem is about an enabling project at Temple tube station.

TfL's Finance and Policy Committee had been due to agree to spending £3m of London Underground money on strengthening the station's roof, to withstand the weight of the Thomas Heatherwick-designed bridge.

But Sadiq Khan has now ordered the work be stopped; while the Mayor officially supports the project, this is only on the condition that no more public money be used for the bridge.

An artist's impression of the garden bridge. Image by Arup.

A spokesperson for the Mayor told the Architects Journal, "The previous Mayor first approved plans for enabling work to prepare Temple tube station for the arrival of the Garden Bridge two years ago in the summer of 2014, but final authorisation was only provided in March this year, two months before the mayoral election."

‘This enabling work has since been suspended."

"Sadiq Khan has been clear that no new public funds should be committed to the Garden Bridge, and he has pledged to make the project more open and transparent – standards that were not always met under the previous administration."

The news comes just a week after the National Audit Office revealed it is investigating another element of the public funding for the bridge: the £30m given by the Department for Transport.

The site of the proposed garden bridge, with protest signs.

In addition, the Charity Commission is looking into the finances of the Garden Bridge Trust, the organisation behind the project.

There are also worries about the money that's already been spent on the bridge: in May, Sadiq Khan revealed that more than half the £60m in public money had already gone, meaning the Garden Bridge would cost more to cancel than to build.