Garden Bridge would cost taxpayers more to cancel, Khan says


New London mayor Sadiq Khan has said it would now cost taxpayers more than twice as much to cancel the controversial Garden Bridge as it would to complete it.

Sadiq Khan has demanded that the Garden Bridge be more accessible

Speaking at his first Mayor’s Question Time, Mr Khan revealed that of the £60m total of public money pledged, £37.7m has already been spent by the Garden Bridge Trust.

Mr Khan said: ‘From the point at which I became mayor, it was quite clearly in London taxpayers’ financial interest to complete the Garden Bridge project. It would simply cost Londoners more to cancel the project now, than it would to finish building the Garden Bridge.

‘If the Bridge was cancelled now taxpayers will have spent £37.7m for no benefit at all. However if we complete the project and our loan is repaid in full then the ultimate cost to taxpayers will be under half that cost at £18m.

‘So I will support the building of the Garden Bridge, but I am demanding that the project is made more accessible and open to all Londoners in return.'

Last week Mr Khan set out a number of conditions for his support for the project, including that it should be closed less often and for shorter times for private fundraising events and a guarantee that children at local schools will get to visit the bridge and be involved in planting and maintenance.

Transport for London (TfL) and the Government have previously committed £30m each to the £175m cost of the bridge - with the remainder raised through private donations. Of the £30m pledged by TfL, £20m is in the form of a loan to be repaid 'in full'.


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