Garden Bridge Trust staff-members are long used to forcing their project forwards against huge obstructions. Not only is there the massive, and exponentially growing, public opposition to what they want to do to the Thames, but they don’t have all the planning conditions signed off, are lacking the lease variation for the South Bank public park they wish to build a commercial unit over and the mayor still hasn’t signed off on underwriting of the £3.5m pa maintenance – which, if Sadiq stays true to his word of refusing to risk more public money, he won’t be doing so.
Then there is the Charity Commission inquiry into the GBT, the National Audit Office inquiry into the Department for Transport £30m funding, a mayoral review into the procurement, an audit by Ernst & Young (pdf) (who are sponsors of the bridge – so no conflict of interest there!) into the TfL procurement, the new report ripping apart their pathetic business plan and, last but not least, the Judicial Review over loss of public land.
All in all, with so much in the way of them delivering this private tourist attraction for their developer friends and entitled contacts, the signs are that they are panicking as realisation of their slow demise is dawning on them. This week they got their Chairman, Lord Davies of Abersoch, to write to the new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, to plead for an extension of the deadline for £15m public funded underwriting of insurance to their project. I will pull apart the article in the increasingly irrelevant Evening Standard below, but first do see how you can help make sure this nail is hammered into the Garden Bridge’s coffin.