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TfL backs £60m London garden bridge

Transport for London has backed a design for a £60m pedestrian bridge across the Thames near Waterloo Bridge.

The bridge has been designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the designer of the Olympic cauldron, and Arup.

The team won a tender for ideas to improve pedestrian access across the river while also creating a major public space, which would link Covent Garden and Soho to the South Bank.

Heatherwick Studio is working with Arup to develop engineering aspects of the outline scheme.

According to designers the bridge would act as a “floating garden” incorporating British indigenous plant species. Designs are expected to be finalised in mid-July.

TfL managing director for planning Michele Dix said: “The bridge will help support economic activity while providing commuters arriving at Waterloo with alternative options to cross the river.

“TfL will work with the relevant authorities including Westminster, Lambeth and the Port of London Authority to further develop these plans, steering them through to planning permission stage.”

Ms Dix added that the construction of the bridge would be “entirely dependent on third-party funding”.

Designer Thomas Heatherwick said: “With its rich heritage of allotments, gardens, heathland, parks and squares, London is one of the greenest cities in the world.  

“In this context we are excited to have been selected by TfL to explore the opportunity of a pedestrian river crossing.”

Heatherwick Studio has been working with actor and campaigner Joanna Lumley to develop the proposals.

Ms Lumley added: “There will be grasses, trees, wild flowers and plants, unique to London’s natural riverside habitat. I believe it will bring to Londoners and visitors alike peace and beauty and magic.”

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