Labour candidate for Mayor of London backs Garden Bridge but questions viability of procurement process
London Mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan has given his backing to the controversial Garden Bridge despite serious misgivings over the projects procurement.
The £175m bridge has been the centre of a row over whether Boris Johnson broke procurement rules when awarding the crossing to architect Thomas Heatherwick.
Speaking about the Bridge Khan said: “I fully support the Garden Bridge. However, there are real concerns about the procurement process at City Hall, and these need to be fully investigated by the next Mayor.”
An FOI request by Lib Dem mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon revealed that days before TfL released the tender for the project Boris Johnson was going on a 48-hour trip to Apple in San Francisco with City Hall staff and designer Thomas Heatherwick.
The Bridge is being funded through £60m of public funding, or which £20m is now a loan. A Bouygues-led consortium has been lined up to construct the bridge.
According to the Evening Standard Khan said: “I fully support the Garden Bridge. However, there are real concerns about the procurement process at City Hall, and these need to be fully investigated by the next Mayor.”
Last September Khan promised to scrap the Bridge if elected as it did not represent value for money, however changed his position after the funding arrangement for the bridge was changed from a grant to a loan.
Last month Conservative candidate for the Mayor of London Zac Goldsmith publicly backed plans for the Garden Bridge and described the procurement plans as “thorough”.
This story first appeared on Building Design