Enabling work for the controversial Garden Bridge planned to be built across the River Thames in London, UK, has been halted by the new Mayor, Sadiq Khan.
He has said he supported the project, but only if no more public funding was committed to it. The previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, had approved plans leaving office earlier this year.
A joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics (TP) and Cimolai signed a contract to construct the bridge, but the £175 million (€223.29 million) bridge has drawn criticism over its procurement processes, among other things.
The Mayor’s office said, “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.”
It said this enabling work had been suspended and that this had been reported to the Finance & Policy Committee on 8 July.
The Mayor’s office 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.”
The Mayor expressed concerns during his election campaign about the way that the procurement process had been carried out. His team is looking in more detail at some of the issues raised about the procurement.
The Garden Bridge plans are for a 366m footbridge across the river in central London, open from 6am to midnight every day, with footpaths through a garden which would feature plants, trees and shrubs that are indigenous to the UK.