Alpha Rail has for 30 years supplied architectural metalwork products to many of London’s high profile locations including Royal Parks, 2012 London Olympic Athletes village and the Kia Oval Cricket Ground as well as thousands of other new build and refurbishment projects therefore we are always on the look out for exciting new developments in our Capital city.
Consequently, the now very controversial plans to build the Garden Bridge across the Thames in London has really peaked our interest, and we ‘d love to know your views.
The Garden Bridge project began as a simple idea – a beautiful new garden floating above the River Thames as a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales.
The plan is to build a new 366m-long footbridge that will stretch across the River Thames, from the top of Temple underground station on the Northbank to the South Bank creating a new pedestrian route. Crossing the bridge will be free and open to all between the hours of 6am–midnight. The bridge will feature an expansive garden with footpaths that allow pedestrians to weave their way across the bridge, or simply sit and relax and enjoy tranquility and views.
Information obtained from the Garden Bridge website says that the total cost to build the bridge will be £175m. Over 65% of the capital costs to build the bridge will be fundraised from the private sector, of which more than £145 million has been pledged already, and there is a business plan to cover the £2 million annual maintenance and operations costs. Transport for London and the Government have together contributed £60 million in total, which, if you read the news has attracted many objectors and controversy.
Project supporters claim that building the bridge will bring many benefits for economic development, transport and tourism, as well as exemplify innovation and creativity in building design. They say local businesses will benefit from money spent by visitors to the bridge which would become another world-renowned London landmark.
Indeed, the project seems to have some very high profile supporters like Joanna Lumley, Boris Johnson and fashion and footwear designer Christian Leboutin. Joanna was one of the first people to conceive the idea and one of the Trustees helping raise the money required from private sector funding. In fact, there are now several star studded glitter events arranged by the Garden Bridge Trust.
Planning consent has now been granted, and construction is due to start, but have been clouded by a recent investigation, which may well delay the project.
From an Alpha Rail point of view, we would be delighted to see another London landmark come to fruition to make the UK an even more attractive tourist destination. We are also very supportive of maintaining as much green space and park areas as possible, but we are also of course sensitive to local views and opinions as to how their local area will be affected.
So what do you think – do we need another bridge or could the money be used to better affect elsewhere?