Is London’s Garden Bridge worth the £175m price tag?

“I don’t quite know what the point of this thing is” said Boris Johnson earlier this year regarding the plans for a garden bridge across the Thames.

Championed by Joanna Lumley and designed by Olympic Stadium designer Thomas Heatherwick, the garden bridge has been labelled a stunning new public garden and pedestrian crossing over the River Thames.


Sounds great, but what’s the catch? Well the £60m of public funding towards the £175m by the government for starters. Worse, like Boris said earlier this year, it isn’t quite clear what the purpose of this costly crossing is.

Those involved with the project say the bridge will see 8 million visitors, tourists and commuter alike, as well as helping economic growth and breathing life into the ‘dead world’ of the north bank.

Enthusiasm for the bridge has been matched by understandable backlash, with many criticising the purpose and price of the bridge. It has been called a ‘vanity project’ for the mayor, while Lord Lloyd of Berwick called it a waste of public money.

Others feel that there are other areas of London far more in need of a crossing. Michele Dix , the managing director of planning at TFL said: “If the mayor has £30m to spend then he should spend it on bridges in east London that will deliver real economic benefit to our city.”


The vanity comments seem to be fair, with there being little description of the genuine economic benefits. As stunning as the image impressions are and as unique as the concept is, it still feels as if the bridge should serve more purpose than being just a ‘garden-over-the-Thames.’

While the politicians take the rap over the project, designer Heatherwick is embracing the creative nature of the project. However, even he had to admit: “It feels like we’re trying to pull off a big crime.”

The bridge is forecasted for completion in 2018, but until then it will remain a polarizing project. A beautifully innovative and environmentally friendly landmark; tainted by its price tag and lack of purpose.

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