Garden Bridge for London – Mayoral Interference in Proposal and Tendering Processes

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Head Office Circular No. NP/006/16

To the Secretary all London Branches,
London Transport Regional Council

7 January 2016

Dear Colleagues

Garden Bridge for London – Mayoral Interference in Proposal and Tendering Processes

The Council of Executives requests the views of branches and the LTRC on the proposed “garden bridge” (running between the South Bank and Temple). We have been approached by a group called Thames Central Open Spaces requesting support for their campaign. Below is a summary of their most relevant criticisms:

            -there is perhaps limited demand for a pedestrian bridge at that site;

            -the formal examination of the need for the bridge was not as rigorous as normal;

            -in the bidding process, preferential treatment may have been given to designer Thomas Heatherwick and engineering firm Arup;

- information about the project may have been withheld from the TfL Board, inhibiting its ability to exercise oversight and make informed decisions;

-The TfL auditor found that the tendering process was neither open nor objective;

-TfL funds would be used on the project (£10m grant with £20m available in loans);

-the project would cost around £60 – £100m to build (with £30m coming from the National Infrastructure Plan); and

-the project would also have substantial ongoing maintenance costs (estimated at £3.5m pa) which would be met by the taxpayer in the event that the bridge is not self-financing.

Yours sincerely,

 

Mick Cash
General Secretary