So it looks like, although the Garden Bridge has got the go-ahead, there are still some teething problems which might yet cause it to be aborted. I still can’t decide whether I approve or not.
I mean, it looks really lovely in the picture and if it really looks like that in real life then it will be a lovely, serene space for people to relax. However, do we really need it?
Well, no, but there are a lot of beautiful things one doesn’t need which make life better. I happen to love my bottle opener key-ring but let’s face it, I already have a bottle opener in the kitchen draw. That said, it didn’t cost me £10 000 000 or whatever it is.
I suppose I would question the timing of it. At a time when the country is in crisis and there is a severe shortage of cash for housing and the NHS it’s understandable why some people are against it.
I have heard that it will be closed at times for corporate events and private hire, although the Garden Bridge Trust is now on an all-out media assault to refute such claims. This troubles me. Although a lot of the funding came from private hands there is also a lot of public money going into it and, basing my assumptions on past experience, the chances are it will be closed at precisely the times that I would want it to be open. For example, I bet they close it when any pageant or boat race goes up the river. I bet they will charge a fortune for anyone to enter at New Year’s Eve to watch fireworks.
The other thing that troubles me is, does it have to be in that spot? I mean there are plenty of areas along the river that could do with brightening up. Put the garden bridge further down! There are loads of bridges there! It will block a lovely view from the south bank and it is rather unnecessary at that point on the river. It’s supposed to be to its credit that it is supported by Stella McCartney and Mary Portas, but frankly I don’t care what they think. I mean they’re just people like anyone else. It’s not like their opinion is worth any more than mine or yours, and the fact that it was designed by Thomas Heatherwick doesn’t fill me with confidence, despite his being described by Sir Terence Conran as “a Da Vinci of our times.” Heatherwick designed the new route master buses and as I reported in my other article >>HERE<<there was clearly little attention paid to its actual functionality as a mode of transport.
All he cared about was what it looked like. They are pretty hazardous for blind people – and tall people come to that! I’ve never been so uncomfortable on public transport. I wonder if the garden bridge will be the same. Spikes for chairs, railings obscuring beautiful views etc…
Grumble grumble. I suppose, though, that London is constantly changing and when I’m dead and gone no one will be saying “Remember before that bridge was there? Wasn’t it much better?”
They’ll just assume it was always there and that that’s what London looks like. St Paul’s met much public outrage when it was first built as did many other landmarks.
So, should it have got the go-ahead?
As Clint Eastwood says in Pale Rider, “Well, it really doesn’t matter does it?” There’s nothing I can do about it so I’d better embrace it. I wonder who will take up residence there during the opening hours. Will it be vagrants, tramps, street performers, poets, musicians, pedlars? Or just local office workers staring at their phones on their lunch breaks with their headphones firmly plugged into their ears to make it a truly sociable and welcoming environment. It remains to be seen.
Whoever it is they will be a part of the rich tapestry of life which makes this city of London the greatest in the world!
What do you think about the Garden Bridge? Leave a comment!