List of 30 prohibited activities drawn up
Making a speech, throwing sticks into the Thames and releasing balloons are among the activities banned from the Garden Bridge.
They are among 30 prohibited acts with others including taking part in “any assembly, performance, rally, procession or gathering of any kind” as well as playing a musical instrument or games.
Bikes, roller skates and skateboards “or other foot-propelled device[s]” are banned, although bikes can be pushed across the bridge.
The list of prohibitions means the popular children’s game Pooh sticks, named after AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, would be banned from the only bridge to sport its own woodland. The game involves several people dropping sticks on the upstream side of a bridge and watching to see whose emerges first on the downstream side.
Number 14 of the prohibited acts says people are not allowed to: “Drop from the bridge any item with the exception of devices intended for the purpose of saving lives.” And number 12 means visitors will be unable to “make or give a speech or address”.
Liberal Democrat London Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon asked London mayor Boris Johnson whether the activities would be banned when the bridge was closed to the public and used for commercial events – as its operator, the Garden Bridge Trust, has made clear it will be for 12 days a year.
Johnson said: “The Garden Bridge Trust will need to obtain a Premises Licence and/or a Temporary Events Notice which requires the approval of the two local authorities (Westminster and Lambeth) and the police.”
A spokesman for the Garden Bridge Trust said: “It is not uncommon for there to be conditions of entry into any public place or park to protect people’s safety.
“The conditions of entry have been developed to create a safe environment for all users and include provision for the safety of those using the River Thames, Victoria Embankment and the Queens Walk, which is why we have included: ‘No person using the Garden Bridge shall drop from the bridge any item with the exception of devices intended for the purpose of saving lives’.”
Last year, Building’s sister title BD revealed that people wanting to visit Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge in groups of eight or more would have to apply for permission.
The stipulation was contained in Lambeth council’s recent planning report to its planning committee.
It said: “All groups of eight or more visitors would be required to contact the Garden Bridge Trust to request a formal visit to the bridge. This policy would not only assist visitor management but also would discourage protest groups from trying to access the bridge.”
BD’s revelation prompted an avalanche of criticism forcing the Garden Bridge Trust to clarify its position. It said limits on group numbers were being looked at to make sure visitors had “the best and most enjoyable experience possible” and that it was not an attempt to introduce a ticketing system.
Last week the council, one of the London councils that approved the Garden Bridge, said it was putting negotiations over the land required for it on hold. Council leader Lib Peck said not enough progress has been made in attracting funding from the private sector to make inroads into the £60 million the scheme requires from the public purse – £30 million of which will come from Transport for London.
This story first appeared on Building Design
This story has been updated to include a comment from the Garden Bridge Trust.