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It was once the darling of cross-river innovation – but Lambeth and mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan are pouring cold water on the ‘folly’. Why is that?

A CGI of the London Garden Bridge

A CGI of the London Garden Bridge

Listen to this. “The Garden Bridge will offer a new kind of green space in the heart of the city, cementing London’s status as the greenest capital in Europe.” Yay. 

We do not like the Garden Bridge.

What d’you mean? We love it. What with the Joanna Lumley and the pastoral oasis and the huge public support and… and the Joanna Lumley.

It’s costly, elitist, impractical and divisive.

Divisive? You misunderstand the concept of a bridge. Costly? Not a penny is coming out of public funds. And elitist you say – this is for the people. Not for the cars. For the cyclists and the walkers and the Titchmarshes.

OK. A few points to unpick there. Firstly, the mayor has done a U-turn on the public funding. £30million is coming out London’s transport budget along with £30million from the Treasury although that’s still well short of the £175million cost. And it’s not really a reliable link because it’s closed at nights and you might need a ticket – it’s more queue than Kew. And cyclists will not be able to use the bridge.

Wrong, Einstein. Says here that cyclists will be allowed to use the bridge.

They will be required to dismount and push their cycles. It’s like saying that motorists can use the bridge as long as they leave their cars at home. Or sabre-toothed cats can use the bridge as long as they pack all the inherent qualities of being a sabre-toothed cat in a plastic bag for the duration of the crossing.

But, but it’s the people’s bridge.

Also, it will be closed 12 times a year should a corporate entity wish to launch their latest VW diesel.

No, it will be a symbol of the capital’s green priorities.

The construction would require the felling of mature trees on both sides of the river, including 32 mature trees in the avenue on Queen’s Walk.

But Boris said…

The only declared mayoral candidate, Labour’s Sadiq Khan has just said he would ditch the horticultural folly , Boris’s likely successor Zac Goldsmith is ever so much “meh” about the whole thing, Lambeth has in the last week pulled out of negotiations over the land on the South Bank and Westminster says it will damage historic “protected views”.

You really don’t like the idea, do you?

This is not a useful cross-river link, it is a publicly-funded tourist attraction masquerading as a transport solution.

Like your precious cable car?

Er, no, that’s entirely different in fundamental ways that I could explain but would require the deployment of a much higher level of logic. Another Chelsea bun?