The report blames London for the failed Backyard Bridge undertaking


The project was fraught with a number of problems from the start and was eventually canceled in 2017 by the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

The new 83-page report – Up the garden path: Learn from the Garden Bridge project – Released today by the Garden Bridge Working Group of the London Assembly

“It was an ambitious project in many ways: providing significant infrastructure in a short period of time and funding mainly from private sources,” the report said. “Delays caused by land rights and planning permits not being completed on either side of the proposed bridge exacerbated the funding uncertainty that plagued the project throughout the project. In addition, the governance model established for the implementation of the project was inadequate, which led to poor and non-transparent decision-making in critical phases to resolve these problems. “

It adds, “Throughout all of the review processes in this project, key decision makers involved in all or part of the project have lost the money on accountability. However, all major stakeholders are ultimately responsible for their part in the failure of this project. “Former London Mayor Boris Johnson is said to have taken an active supportive role in the project, using the functions of his office to make mayoral decisions that effectively guided the removal of barriers to development progress.

As the project progressed, the Garden Bridge Trust made increasingly reckless decisions to address its increasingly precarious funding position, the report said. “And critically, Transport for London (TfL) has not used the full extent of its functional and advisory powers to inform the Greater London Authority of the increasing risk associated with the project. both in terms of the precariousness of the trust’s financial position and its mismanagement in the critical months from late 2015 to mid 2016. “

The working group makes four recommendations:

  • TfL should update its sourcing processes to include an overarching sourcing strategy for each relevant delivery stage for all infrastructure projects valued at over £ 50 million (US $ 63 million).
  • By December 2019, TfL should update the project delivery processes to ensure that key deployment phases for key infrastructure projects are approved.
  • By November 2019, TfL should write to the administrators of the Garden Bridge Trust asking them for a copy of the construction contract between the Garden Bridge Trust and the contractor Bouygues / Cimolai. TfL should then publish it on its website.
  • For infrastructure projects worth £ 50 million (US $ 63 million) or more provided by third party parties, TfL should include contractual terms for monitoring and approving TfL to ensure better management of the risks associated with the delivery.