The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today given his support to the Garden Bridge, but has demanded it is made more accessible to all Londoners in return.

The Mayor described the Garden Bridge as a project that could rival New York’s High Line, a public park that was built on a disused railway line thirty feet above street level in Manhattan, but warned that the Bridge “must be a genuinely public and open space for all Londoners, rather than a closed and private space”.

The Mayor has insisted the Garden Bridge Trust make a series of amendments to its plans to make the Garden Bridge more accessible, in exchange for his continued support for the project. His demands include:

The Bridge to be closed for fewer days each year for private fundraising events – the current plans are for 12 closures a year.
The Bridge to be closed for fewer hours each time it has to close for fundraising events, so that the Bridge can still be used in the morning and evenings – the current plans are for it to be closed from midnight to midnight.
A guarantee that children at local schools on either side of the river will get to visit the Garden Bridge and be involved in planting and maintenance – with a rolling programme of events for local school children.
The Garden Bridge Trust to build a strong working relationship with all of London’s parks, 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 criticised the previous City Hall administration, saying “the early days of this project clearly fell short of our expectations on transparency”, and pledged to “let the sunshine in” as he published the previously undisclosed full business plan for the Garden Bridge alongside a list of the funders of the Bridge.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The Garden Bridge could rival New York’s High Line. But it must be a genuinely public and open space for all Londoners, rather than a closed and private space.

“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 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.”

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