News from Caroline Russell: Garden Bridge "must be scrapped" if Mayor's inquiry finds wrongdoing

22 September 2016

Caroline Russell, Green Assembly Member, has welcomed news that Sadiq Khan has set up an inquiry into how public money has been spent on the Garden Bridge.

The inquiry will be chaired by Dame Margaret Hodge and will begin immediately. It will “investigate the conduct” of City Hall and TfL in the bridge’s procurement process.

Assembly Member Russell has previously called for the Garden Bridge to be cancelled (1). She supports alternative plans for fully accessible cycling and walking bridges in areas with a proven transport need, such as the Diamond Jubilee (2) and Rotherhithe (3) bridges.

Caroline Russell commented:

“The Garden Bridge must be scrapped if the Mayor's enquiry identifies wasteful spending or a failure to follow procurement rules. But this is not to say more cycling and walking bridges aren't desperately needed in London. They just need to be in the right location, in places with a proven transport need. That's why I’m urging the Mayor not to throw the baby out with the bath water when there are very good bridge schemes in his in tray.”

“Earlier this month I called on him to appoint Transport for London to help deliver a proposed ‘Diamond Jubilee’ cycling and walking bridge from Fulham to Battersea. This scheme has huge public support and it's important that progress continues so that Wandsworth planning conditions and timeframe are met.

“More walking and cycling would help unclog London’s gridlocked streets, go some way to reducing air pollution and could bring £2.2bn of health benefits to the capital every year. "

Notes to editors

Caroline is available for interview.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36321937

[2] Caroline Russell AM tabled a motion in support of the Diamond Jubilee Bridge at the 7th September London Assembly plenary meeting. Watch Caroline’s speech in support of the motion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCYWpeJBQpE

The motion was passed by the London Assembly: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/assembly/assembly-push-for-diamond-jubilee-bridge

[3] Caroline is a supporter of the Canary Wharf to Rotherhithe cycle bridge plans, proposed by sustainable transport organisation Sustrans: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/bikebridge

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