Funding row rears up over risk of additional costs to public
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been accused of misleading Londoners over the cost to the public of the proposed Garden Bridge.
According to the BBC, the Mayor, who has previously stated that £30m of money from TfL would go on the building of the bridge, but none on its upkeep, has in a letter, agreed that the public could pay a further £3.5m a year for upkeep if funding deals fall through.
The bridge was dreamt up by the actor Joanna Lumley, and will cost £175m, of which a total of £60m will be made up of public money.
The scheme was approved by the mayor’s office in December.
There is huge opposition to the bridge, and legal action was launched last month by Londoner and former planning director Michael Ball who said: “The impact of the garden bridge will be devastating.”
Why is it so controversial?
There are a number of concerns which mean the bridge has won a lot of critics.
- Civil engineers have described it as “the most expensive footbridge in the world”
- A ticket booking system for entry to the bridge is expected to be implemented
- It will be closed at night
- Cyclists will not be able to use the bridge, and no groups exceeding eight in number will be granted access
- Picnicking on the bridge will also be forbidden
- There are already four bridges within a mile of each other, while new crossings are desperately required east of the City