Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site




Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

London Bridge Plan Falling Down

Friday, June 5, 2015

Comment | More

LONDON--The London Assembly has put the brakes on Mayor Boris Johnson's fast-track plan to build the world's most expensive footbridge across the River Thames.

The Assembly voted 11-3 Wednesday (June 3) to demand that Johnson "carry out a full audit" of the £175 million (about $274.6 million USD) Garden Bridge project.

The Assembly also called on Johnson to remove £30 million ($46 million USD) in Transport for London (TfL) funding that he had committed to the project.

Garden Bridge Trust

The bridge would include lush plantings and hundreds of live trees. Critics say that trees would have to be cleared for the project and that the funds should go to current green space.

TfL oversees the streets, buses and Underground rail network in the city of 8.6 million. The Assembly declared in a statement that the Garden Bridge "serves no transport function."


Caroline Pidgeon, MBE AM, who proposed the motion, roundly criticized the project's location, purpose and lush design, which includes a costly copper-nickel alloy cladding for the bridge's belly.

The 1,200-foot-long route from the South Bank area to Temple Station would feature shrubs, flowers, plants, 270 trees, woodland and meandering walkways in a "ground-breaking design," according to the Garden Bridge Trust, the nonprofit established to oversee the project.

The Trust said the bridge would "integrate a new kind of public space into the fabric of the city."

Or Folly?

Not so, Pidgeon responded in a statement Wednesday.

CarolinePidgeon BorisJohnson
Official photo (left); Wikipedia (right)

London's popular mayor, Boris Johnson, heartily supports the Garden Bridge. London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon calls the project "folly" and wants it de-funded and audited.

Although the project began with a request by TfL to improve pedestrian links across the river, "[t]here are many locations along the Thames ... where there is a far more pressing need for a bridge serving pedestrians and cyclists than the site of the Garden Bridge," Pidgeon said.

The statement added: "If the objective of the Garden Bridge is to improve London’s public spaces, then it is folly to cut down more than 30 mature trees and reduce much-valued open space on the South Bank. £60 million of public funding could be far better spent improving numerous parks and open spaces across the capital."

Finally, Pidgeon noted a need to address "serious questions about how the design contract was awarded."

'Overwhelming Opposition'

British actress and activist Joanna Lumley has championed the bridge, which was designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick. Heatherwick Studio is working with engineers at Arup and landscape designer Dan Pearson.

GardenBridge Site
Garden Bridge Trust

The location is just one of many objections to the Garden Bridge. Critics say pedestrian links are needed elsewhere along the River Thames.

The Lambeth Council and Westminster City Council both green-lighted the project last year, and London's popular mayor has been firmly behind the project.

On the other hand, many locals have dug in against the plan, noting that it will obstruct views of St. Paul's Cathedral and other beloved landmarks.

The critics also are demanding "a full public inquiry" into the project application, including a review of Lambeth's due diligence to protect its historical buildings.

Finally, the critics cast doubt on the maintenance projections for the project.

GardenBridgeCladding / @TheGardenBridge

The £175 million (about $274.6 million USD) span would be the most expensive footbridge in the world, largely because of the special copper-nickel cladding, civil engineers have said.

"This seems like a poorly thought-through project which, although attractive at first glance, on reflection is seriously deficient in a number of important respects," attorney Richard Stein said in February.

'Many Objections'

In its motion this week, the Assembly noted "with concern the many objections" to the proposal "from a wide variety of individuals and organizations."

The motion cites a laundry list of objections, including "the proximity to other crossings, the blocking of historic views of the Thames, the procurement process, the lack of cycling provision, the lack of a guaranteed right of way or step free access, the loss of over 30 mature trees on the South Bank, and the [Greater London Authority] underwriting ongoing maintenance costs running into millions."


Tagged categories: Bridges; Cladding; Copper; Government; Project Management

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Safway Services
Safeguard Assets. Ensure Productivity. HAKI®
Protect assets and equipment. Keep facilities open and operational. Maintain schedules regardless of weather. Ensure smooth and continuous production. Easy to erect. Safway is the primary distributor of HAKI® products including HAKISPAN and HAKITEC® 750 – in North America.

SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
Coatings Adhesion Testers
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!

Detail Masters
Overspray Removal
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

Abrasives Inc.
Need more MAGIC around?
Black Magic® is a premier solution for abrasive blast media. Stop by our new website & find out how you can get more Magic. 800-584-7524

Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. or Call 412-931-6655.

W Abrasives
Premium Products for your Blasting Needs
Ready to use operating mix steel grit abrasives developed specially for air blasting applications.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems
Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the system that best fits your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
The ALPHA1 provides reliable results consistently allowing you to cost your next job with confidence.

Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion
Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us