Sadiq Khan statement on Garden Bridge project.
Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“In principle I love the idea of the Garden Bridge, but what we were sold is a long way from the reality we now face. It has become another of Boris Johnson’s white elephant projects – like the Cable Car which is used by few at the cost of millions of pounds.
“I believe it no longer represents value for money. This was supposed to be an entirely privately funded project costing £60 million, but the overall cost has tripled, and £60 million is being paid for out of the public purse, with a possible maintenance cost of £3.5 million a year – for a bridge which will often be closed to the public for private events and won’t be open overnight.
"The amount of new green space created will be less than half a football pitch and 30 trees have to be cut down to build it.
"I think we can use public funding in a way which is more beneficial to London’s economy, and which brings more improvements to our environment and cultural heritage.
"I’d instead use the money to start the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street – lined with trees from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road on a par with any shopping street in the world. A place for all Londoners to be proud of, to walk and shop and meet in, with space for pedestrians and cyclists, open 24/7 with no closures for private functions.
"I’d like to get some of our best designers like Thomas Heatherwick involved in the process - working together to create the world’s greatest public space."