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Worst case scenario revealed for London's Garden Bridge

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London's troubled Garden Bridge was today dealt a new blow by an official report questioning the project's viability.

Credit: Arup

The Garden Bridge Trust annual accounts also warn the scheme could 'substantially exceed' the £185m estimated cost.

Credit: Arup

The Trust blames a series of delays including 'a new Mayor of London'. The accounts reveal fundraising concerns and a 'worst case scenario' where the bridge is not viable.

Due to material uncertainties in existence ahead of finalising these Accounts, Trustees are unable to conclude that the Trust is a going concern.

– GARDEN BRIDGE TRUST REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The 366m tree-lined pedestrian bridge would link London's South Bank with Temple Underground station.

The charity behind the scheme is struggling to raise a shortfall of £55m despite a promise of £60m of public money in grants and loans.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has refused to hand over any further cash while he conducts his own audit of the project.

But the chairman of the trust insisted significant progress had been made and construction work was expected to begin later this year.

The Trustees are duty bound to disclose these risks and how we intend to deal with them, in this report.We strongly believe we can progress all outstanding issues and we are determined to make the project happen.

We look forward to working with our supporters, including the Mayor and the Government to make the Garden Bridge a reality. We expect to start construction in 2017.

– LORD MERVYN DAVIES, CHAIRMAIN OF THE GARDEN BRIDGE TRUST

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said:

The Mayor has been clear that he supports construction of the Garden Bridge, subject to no new public funds being required. It is for the Garden Bridge Trust to reach agreement with landowners and raise the necessary funds in order that the project can continue without requiring further money from London taxpayers.

Sadiq will only sign the guarantee documentation if he is convinced no more London taxpayers' funds would be spent on the project. His team are reviewing the documentation and the Garden Bridge Trust are aware of this position.

Margaret Hodge indicated that she would likely require around six months to carry out the review. She will take as long as she needs to get the bottom of issues like the procurement process around the project.

– Mayor of London spokesperson