The mayor of London has announced the likely end of the controversial Garden Bridge project, accepting a £46m bill to the taxpayer to avoid the risk of paying further costs.
Sadiq Khan said that continuing support for the project would come with the risk that taxpayers would have to pay more towards building the £200m bridge as well as maintaining it.
Mr Khan said that he will not provide a guarantee for the bridge’s running costs. Providing this was a condition of the bridge’s planning permission and thus Mr Khan’s move makes it unlikely the bridge can be built.
However, it could still be built if the local councils on either side of the river agreed to amend their planning permission.
Mr Khan said that in addition to the possibility of paying for running costs, the taxpayer was at risk of having to fund a half-built bridge.
It appears unlikely that the Trust will succeed in raising the private funds required for the project. I am simply not prepared to risk a situation where the taxpayer has to step in and contribute significant additional amounts to ensure the project is completed.
The Garden Bridge Trust did not immediately respond to a request for comment.