Thames Garden Bridge Proposals Experiences Opposition
Posted on: 04/11/2014

Proposals for a garden bridge over the Thames have recently experienced even more opposition.

The Garden Bridge was originally an idea proposed by Joana Lumley, actress and campaigner, which aimed to combine the beauty of a public garden with the function of a walking bridge. The proposal determined that the bridge would span the Thames between Temple and South Bank, offering users views of the Thames and surroundings of over 270 trees. Whilst it may sound somewhat idyllic, in recent weeks it has experienced strong opposition to its placement and its cost of £159 million, £30 million of which is approved funding by the Mayor of London.

Back in January of this year Members of the Labour Party described the bridge as Boris’ latest ‘costly vanity project’, with Shadow Transport Minister Lord Davies of Oldham echoing these views when referring to the bridge as a “very expensive piece of public art, scarcely recognisable as a means of transport”. These views have been resonated within the public response, especially among locals who have stated that the bridge is unnecessary and wrongly placed.

Other concerns have also arisen, primarily that the estimated 7.1 million visitors a year would cause overcrowding to the South Bank, which already experiences a mass amount of tourists each year. With some even suggesting that the bridge would end up having a detrimental effect on travel times and would actually result in delays rather than improvements.

However despite these negative views, Transport for London (TfL) have remained positive that the Garden Bridge would be a positive addition to the Thames architecture. They insist that the bridge would benefit those living and working around the South Bank/ Temple area by providing new opportunities for walking allowing for easier and quicker journeys between the two areas. Furthermore they emphasise the economic developments with estimates of a cost ratio of 1.9:1 (meaning £1.9 would be earned for every £1 that had been previously invested).

With significant improvements being made to the rail links within London, it could be viewed that it is about time that a new bridge was added to the city in order to ease the walking when around the river; however with such diverse views it is debateable whether such a costly means should be risked.

If you are looking to get involved in a bridge project, then we are currently recruiting for a Senior Bridge Design Engineer in the London area.

For more information on this role click here, or give our Civil/Structural team a call on 02392 603030.

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