Latest News

Joanna Lumley Digging Her Own Hole On The BBC

24 Sep 2016

It’s been a busy few days for the Garden Bridge since Lord Mervyn Davies, chair of the Garden Bridge Trust, was given the luxury of 500 words in the Times newspaper to advertise his development last week. The final trick in their book, when truly desperate, is to wheel out Joanna Lumley with her dulcet tones to sell the Garden Bridge. They also did this, though her appearance on BBC London Radio didn’t quite go as she had planned.

The Trust only get these two on the PR offensive when they face serious problems, and these outings foreshadowed their biggest yet as a new inquiry led by Margaret Hodge MP into the whole of the Garden Bridge from proposal to now, covering the procurement, Boris Johnson, TfL and funding has been announced – more on that in the next blog post.

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A Response To Mervyn Davies

21 Sep 2016

This week Lord Mervyn Davies wrote an advertorial for The Times newspaper. It was a total puff piece and every sentence seemed to offer a misleading statement or half-truth.

There was just too much in it to write a normal article, so instead I have annotated his article itself…

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Big Questions For Sadiq

14 Sep 2016

Today is one of the 10 yearly Mayor’s Question Times when Assembly Members get to put questions to the mayor in order to maintain their role of scrutiny and oversight of his actions. With the amount that has happened in the last few weeks with the Garden Bridge it’s an important one for Sadiq, but he has history of ducking any real answers in favour of somewhat meaningless slogans and shifting responsibility onto other parties. Today he has the chance to act like a mayor.

Throughout his campaign and since becoming mayor Sadiq has singularly refused to meet any of the opponents of the Garden Bridge or the local community who will be so affected by the development. Under his watch the Garden Bridge has escelated in cost, had funders withdraw, have serious questions asked across the media – and yet he still refuses any responsibility, hasn’t shown any leadership and shamefully has not initiated the mayoral investigation he claimed had begun.

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LBC update on the “£185m bridge to nowhere”

13 Sep 2016

Theo Usherwood, the political editor of LBC, has just published an article on the morning Nick Ferrari show updating on the Charity Commission investigation into the Garden Bridge and revealing some damning insights from City Hall, the Government and even from the Garden Bridge Trust themselves.

While publicly the Garden Bridge Trust say everything is going swimmingly and on track, only one donor is willing to give money up front and it’s revealed that even the Trustees now have grave concerns for the viability of the development.

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Newsnight & The Evening Standard: A Comparison

9 Sep 2016

The speech about the Garden Bridge in Parliament by MP Kate Hoey has been causing a stir. The thorough pulling apart of some of the many issues of the development that Hoey subjected the dying project to has helped pull a lot of the non-financial concerns into wider discussion as well as raising new questions about the huge financial concerns of the development.

This post offers two responses to Hoey’s End Of Day Adjournment Debate; one from Hannah Barnes, Newsnight journalist who has been covering the ill-fated project of late, and another from Kate Proctor in the Evening Standard managing to stretch the title “journalist” to its limits. Comparing the two makes for an interesting exercise in the work of journalists and the importance of a media that can be trusted.

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The Garden Bridge In The House Of Commons

7 Sep 2016

Kate Hoey MP has just finished her End Of Day Adjournment Debate considering the risk to London of the Garden Bridge in the House of Commons. She didn’t hold back. She strongly criticised TfL, the current Mayor Sadiq Khan, Joanna Lumley, Coin Street Community Builders, the Evening Standard and the Department for Transport.

She also spent a long time congratulating those involved in shedding light on the project, including opponents such as Thames Central Open Spaces, the GLA, journalists such as Will Hurst of Architects’ Journal and authors of independent reports Dan Anderson and Walter Menteth.

The harshest words and stinging critique, however, was saved for the Garden Bridge Trust who have “treated local views with disdain”. During her powerful speech she called for all current donors to the development to consider withdrawing their support and funds.

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Garden Bridge In Parliament – Email Your MP

6 Sep 2016

On 7th September MP for Vauxhall, Kate Hoey, will be raising the many issues of the Garden Bridge in Parliament. She has tabled an End Of Day Adjournment Debate titled “Garden Bridge and its implications for London” which will help raise political awareness about the cultural vandalism the Garden Bridge Trust and Thomas Heatherwick intend to wreak on the capital.

PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR MP, wherever you live, to ask them to support this important political act.

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A Simple Garden Bridge Cost Comparison

4 Sep 2016

A simple bar chart has been created by Neil Richards, who creates data visualisations for social research, based on calculations by the ‘Ranty Highwayman‘, who wrote a recent article about the Garden Bridge here.

Taking the East-West Cycle Superhighway as a base, it calculates how much per mile various infrastructure projects cost to construct, including roads, trams the Millennium Bridge and the HS2 railway.  To make it easier to read, I have coloured the Garden Bridge bar in red, though you may need to scroll a little…


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Heatherwick’s Failure #3 – The B of the Bang

2 Sep 2016

There are two striking similarities between the London Olympics of 2012 and Manchester’s Commonwealth Games which preceded it by a decade. One is that in both instances hugely expensive stadiums were built at vast public expense but with no real idea for a ‘legacy’, with both then gifted to insanely rich, private Premier League football clubs.

The second is that outside of each stadium stood a publicly funded sculpture. In London the ArcelorMittal Orbit stands like a collapsed rollercoaster serving as cheap advertising for a steel magnate, and it has now been turned into the world’s most expensive helter skelter in a desperate attempt to stem haemorrhaging losses. While Manchester had the B of the Bang, designed by our Garden Bridge ‘boy genius’ Heatherwick, was late, overbudget and ended up being sold off for scrap after falling apart.

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