What is the Garden Bridge?
London's Garden Bridge will be a stunning new public garden and pedestrian crossing, spanning the River Thames, linking the cultural offerings of the South Bank to the theatres of the West End on the Northbank. It will provide a new route between north and south London and feature plants, trees, woodland and meandering walkways to be used and enjoyed by all. It will integrate a new kind of public space into the fabric of the city, adding to London's rich and diverse horticultural heritage.
The Bridge will be free to use and open to all. It is proposed that it will be open between 6am and midnight, these are similar hours to nearby transport stations and cultural institutions either side of the river. The bridge will be open to the public all year with the exception of relatively few days where fundraising or community events may be taking place on the bridge.
Where will the Garden Bridge be located?
The Garden Bridge will link Temple and the South Bank and will be situated between Blackfriars and Waterloo bridges. Its location has been chosen to link the revived and vibrant South Bank with the Northbank. This unique and innovative landmark will take its place at the heart of the capital.
Why do we need a Garden Bridge?
London is growing with more people than ever living, working and visiting the capital. We need to capture the benefits of this growth and make sure we plan, so London is not just a bigger city, but a better one.
The Mayor of London and Transport for London want central London to be a place where more people are able to walk as part of their daily life. While the river is an enormous asset, it also divides the city. Bridges connect this divide and help create a network of new routes for pedestrians. A new footbridge in this location – right in the heart of central London – will help connect the city and make it an easier place to walk around. This will in turn reduce pressure on the public transport network and bring environmental benefits for the city.
The Garden Bridge will further cement London’s position as the greatest city in the world to live, work and visit, supporting the Mayor’s spatial vision for London to “excel among global cities.” The Garden Bridge will help to improve quality of life for Londoners, achieve the highest environmental standards and bring more tourism and prosperity to the capital.
It will also deliver a range of economic benefits for the local communities on the north and south sides of the Thames.
Who is the Garden Bridge Trust?
The Garden Bridge Trust is a UK registered charity that has been established to fundraise for and deliver the Garden Bridge. The Trust will also be responsible for the maintenance and operations of the bridge in the future.
The Chairman of the Trust is Lord Davies of Abersoch and the board consists of trustees, who bring a diverse range of complementary skills. They include Joanna Lumley, the actress who first imagined a garden bridge connecting North and South Bank and Jim Gardiner, Executive Vice President of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Who has designed the bridge?
There are a wide range of professionals working on the project. Arup is leading the design team with Heatherwick Studio as lead designer; Dan Pearson as Landscape designers; and Arup as engineers and technical specialists.
What is the actual building programme from permission to completion?
The Trust has awarded the construction contract. We anticipate that the bridge will open to the public in 2019.
How will the trees and vegetation survive in this environment?
The garden will provide a unique green corridor between existing areas of biodiversity on the north and south banks of the river. It will provide a rich habitat containing some 2,500m² of planting that will help to ecologically enrich the area by providing a significant mix and variety of native and adaptive species with 270 new trees,and over 100,000 perennials, ferns grasses, bulbs and annuals.
The design of the bridge allows for significant soil depth, particularly over the piers. This sustains developed root growth and consequently improves the stability of plants and trees. This is further enhanced by root anchors and supports as needed. Soil scientists have been engaged to ensure the right soil conditions for different species can be achieved and an irrigation system has been incorporated for use during drought conditions. Importantly, the species of plants and trees that will be planted on the bridge have been selected specifically for their resilience and suitability for this environment. A team of well-trained and experienced gardeners will be employed to ensure the planting chosen can survive and thrive. More information is available in the Technical Landscape Report that was submitted with the planning application.