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Headline

RIBA calls for Garden Bridge to be halted

Comment

I would hope that the mayoral candidates at next weeks RIBA hustings will be invited to support Jane Duncans stand, put the project on hold and commit to a full and independent enquiry into the garden Bridge. In a democracy public procurement must be fair, transparent and legal. Boris Johnson’s journey to California in an endeavour to raise funds specifically for the Garden Bridge design before it was put out to public tender is further evidence of the serious impropriety that has now come to light. This is what the subsequent Invitation to Tender (Specification Purpose of the brief) stated was required: "This initial study will help examine the potential for a footbridge in this area, considering a number of different locations and taking into account a range of constraints in the area. The appointed designer would work with TfL to identify and test broad options and to help identify a potential preferred option that could be considered further" No mention in the ITT of any requirement for a specific design solution let alone a Garden. The tender response submitted by Heatherwick's included the design of the Garden Bridge & received the highest mark in this question category. The 2 others responded to the question. There was no ‘a prior’ scoping of a Garden Bridge in this location nor any defined need in the London plan. Heatherwick bid included Joanna Lumley as a design team member in their £172k bid; Marks Barfield £15k, Wilkinson Ayre £36.7k (incl. an engineer), and all received the same score. Today it has come to light that the two officers individually responsible for TfL’s Garden Bridge process [Isabel] Dedring who joined Johnson on his trip to California and Richard Di Cani have left TfL to join Arups, the engineers delivering it, and from whence Di Cani originally came. The cost of [the Garden Bridge to] the public - £60m, and not a truly affordable home in sight. So far every aspect of this ‘Jobs for the boys’ project stinks. ref also: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/muddy-waters-jobs-boys-walter-menteth?trk=pulse_spock-articles

Posted date

10 February, 2016

Posted time

10:36 am

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