Khan stalls Garden Bridge project
13 July 2016, Blog
Despite officially backing the scheme, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has halted further preparatory work to Temple tube station, effectively suspending work on the controversial Garden Bridge project.
The work, which will strengthen the roof of the station to receive the weight of the bridge and will cost £3m, was to be approved by TfL’s finance and policy committee until the Mayor stepped in over public funding concerns. A spokesperson for the Mayor said “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.”
Fans of the bridge don’t need to panic – the Garden Bridge Trust, which is behind the project, is due to repay the £3m anyway, so work may resume in the near future. What this does show us however is that London’s new mayor may be playing a clever game.
Either the bridge is built without a single extra penny of tax payers’ money, and Sadiq Khan gains the credit for both the bridge and his wise management of the public purse, or the bridge is cancelled and he can blame the previous administration for poor financial planning.