The new London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has given his support to the controversial Garden Bridge across the Thames, but demanded more accessibility and transparency.
Mr Khan said the Garden Bridge could rival Manhattan’s High Line – a public park built on a disused railway line thirty feet above street level.
The sun shines on the bridge in an artist's impression
But he warned that the bridge ‘must be a genuinely public and open space for all Londoners, rather than a closed and private space’.
To achieve this, Mr Khan has insisted that the Garden Bridge Trust, which is developing the bridge, makes a series of changes to its plans.
Mr Khan said: ‘I expect the Garden Bridge Trust to ensure that the bridge be closed fewer days each year for private fundraising events and fewer hours when they do. I also want a guarantee that an ongoing programme of visits will be laid on for local school children.
‘The Trust must also look to build a strong working relationship with parks from all over our city, so that seeds and plants grown on the Garden Bridge can then be replanted in parks across the capital – ensuring it has a positive benefit for all Londoners.’
The mayor also criticised the previous administration under Boris Johnson and published the full business plan for the bridge alongside a list of funders.
He said: ‘The early days of this project clearly fell short of our expectations on transparency. I am determined to run the most open and transparent administration London has ever seen.
‘I will let the sunshine in, which is why we are today publishing the previously undisclosed full business plan for the Garden Bridge alongside a list of its funders.’