Some of the costs of the preparatory work for the proposed Garden Bridge across the Thames between Temple and the South Bank will be met from the public purse, Transport for London has confirmed.
Earlier this month TfL revealed plans for a new tree-lined pedestrian bridge designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
London transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy has confirmed that the public will meet "enabling costs" for the project which is otherwise intended to be privately funded.
"We have appointed Thomas Heatherwick and Arup to develop plans for a new pedestrian crossing of the Thames in central London, connecting Temple Tube station with the South Bank," wrote Sir Peter in his regular report to the TfL board.
"This new bridge would include a major public open space in the form of a garden. The aim of this bridge is to improve pedestrian connectivity in Central London and contribute towards the Mayor's objectives for making London a more pedestrian friendly city as well as supporting development opportunities along both banks.
"The bridge is proceeding on the basis that its construction and ongoing maintenance costs would be funded by third parties and our contribution is limited to enabling costs associated with securing the necessary consents and approvals.
"Full third party funding is not yet in place, but there is significant interest and discussions are continuing.
"TfL has no budget to build or maintain the bridge. The intention is to have a preliminary consultation in the autumn of this year and bring forward a planning application by Easter next year."
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