The tussle over The Garden Bridge continues. Those who first mooted it seem to be otherwise engaged. Those who authorized it are probably consulting their lawyers. Meanwhile a growing body of opinion is questioning how an actress, an admirer and a designer got so far in wishing such a crazy scheme on our capital.
I don’t need to tell gardeners how the middle of a major river, exposed to the four winds, is a poor choice of a site to nurture plants., or whether trees can be expected to succeed there. People will have made up their own minds about whether one of London’s grandest views, the great grey tideway with St Paul’s as its crown, would benefit from a window-box in the centre ground. Others will recognize the description of the designer, Thomas Heatherwick, as ‘the Isambard Kingdom Brunel of Toytown’. Certainly passengers on his number 9 bus will have rued the day he was allowed to design it. And this is not even to examine where the money to pay for the bridge is to come from, or who will pay for its maintenance ad infinitum.
London does need more bridges, both upstream and down. The same mayor thought a cable car would do the trick. The need for a gimmick described as a garden bridge remains to be proved.