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Poll: Less than half of Londoners support Garden Bridge

  • 4 Comments

A new poll has found that less than half of Londoners support plans to build the controversial Garden Bridge

In a survey carried out by pollsters Populus just 43 per cent of those asked said they supported the Thomas Heatherwick-designed scheme.

Released by Lambeth councillor Kevin Craig, the latest opinion poll claims that 57 per cent of Londoners are indifferent to the Thames crossing with 36 per cent saying they opposed the link and another 19 per cent saying they had no strong feelings either way.

This contrasts with the results of a survey released by the Garden Bridge Trust earlier this summer which suggested that 78 per cent of those living in the capital supported the scheme.

Councillor Kevin Craig, said: ‘Londoners do not overwhelmingly support this Bridge like the Garden Bridge Trust claims. The more Londoners know, the less they like it. 43 per cent is not enough to justify £60 million of public money. 

The more Londoners know, the less they like it

‘The Garden Bridge Trust needs to stop claiming that three quarters of Londoners support it.’

He also commented on the procurement of the bridge, which is currently being investigated by the Greater London Authority’s Oversight Committee.

‘The fact that other institutions including the GLA and Parliament are now investigating the procurement processes around the Garden Bridge echoes concerns that I have received directly’, Craig said.

Local MP Kate Hoey, added: ‘This poll shows that the Garden Bridge Trust has got it wrong over public support for their project. There was no public money gifted to the London Eye yet it has become the most successful tourist attraction in London.

The Trust has got it wrong over public support

‘It is now time for the Garden Bridge Trust to recognise they need a complete rethink and start listening to those who have urged a different approach to location, costings, public investment and public benefit.’

The poll follows the news yesterday that Lambeth Council leader Lib Peck has put negotiations over the land needed to build the bridge on hold because of the level of public-funding required for the £175 million project.

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • Londoners?
    What about the rest of Britain, or is London now being floated by Boris, George, Joanna & pals as an independent city state?
    I doubt very much that it's just Londoners who are left cold by the notion of this expensive and intrusive piece of public-private frippery - especially when George is preaching belt-tightening all around (except, apparently, in London).

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  • It is outrageous that the Garden Bridge Trust have already burnt up £20m of public money on trying to foist this vanity project onto London, on the basis of a false prospectus: they promised it would cost £60m but it's come in at £175m; they promised it would be privately funded but they've only raised £65m and want £60m of public money; they promised it would have cyclists but then they were banned; they promised it would enhance views, but it blocks them. Lambeth Council might have been mugged in 2013 by their false prospectus, but they're now bravely doing the right thing and calling an end to this nonsense.

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  • Well done Lambeth Council and Sadiq Khan for standing up for Londoners against the powerful delusionists who are trying to foist this vandalism upon us. The Evening Standard, which consistently fails to remind us that its proprietor has a vested interest in the bridge, calls Lambeth Council’s action “petty politics”. If it advantages Londoners and dismays the rich and powerful, who’ll turn up for a private jolly on the bridge once a year and leave the rest of us to suffer its consequences the rest of the time, give me more petty politics. Much more.

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  • A brilliant move by Kevin Craig in commissioning a new poll. It puts paid to the "silent majority" claim with which the Garden Bridge Trust has run roughshod over the more vocal objectors.

    More importantly, it clearly shows the Trust to be cynical, deceitful and manipulative in its use of data and facts -- spinning and twisting their way through planning and public consultation (such as it was) with a constant flow of lies and half-truths.

    It was fascinating to see Thomas Heatherwick alongside Kevin Craig on ITV news. His main argument was that more people questioned in the poll supported the bridge than objected to it. He is rather missing the point. The point is that a garden bridge poll with a facile question found 80% support and the Trust has been trumpeting that from the rooftops. A proper poll with a proper question saw that support cut in half. It reveals the Trust to be untrustworthy, unethical and unprofessional. And Craig is right: it demonstrates that information is poison for this project. The more people know the more that support ebbs away.

    He also tried to peddle (again!) the absurd analogy of the London Olympics (I.e. Everyone was opposed but then, when it happened, everyone loved it). Heatherwick, can you not grasp the concept of risk and reward? The London Olympics WAS a massive risk with public money; but it was a risk worth taking because the reward was so great -- the regeneration of a contaminated site in East London. Even the London Eye (another of his favourite analogies) was a risk worth taking when it was approved in the mid-1990s, because the South Bank was nothing like the great place that it is today. Heatherwick, this garden bridge of yours is all risk with no reward.

    He really should see the project's impending demise and shrink away with some humility. Watching him on TV trying to sustain the lie and defend these hollow arguments is almost sad and is not doing anything for his reputation.

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