ES Views: I hope London will not regret Garden Bridge axe

Should the Mayor have retained his support for the Garden Bridge?

It is disgraceful that the Mayor has pulled the plug on the Garden Bridge, a great project which would have reinforced the idea that London is a top city and destination.

As always, political expediency has won. One can recall all the fuss over the cost of the Olympic Park when in reality other nations spent vast amounts more on similar projects. I also still remember the debacle of Coin Street near the proposed Garden Bridge, a top-class project destroyed by parochialism.

London should not place individual local feelings over the requirements of the capital.

Local needs should not be the driving force in strategic tourist and commercial areas — these areas are for all Londoners, not just the people of Lambeth.

It is a depressing reality that the state fails to produce great architecture. In the end, it is the private sector that produces high-end developments such as Canary Wharf, which was built by Canadian entrepreneurs.

For the Mayor to withdraw support for the project shows him to be a politician desperate to appear sensible and reasonable, with an eye clearly on the leadership of the Labour Party. As much as I detest the Conservatives, I will be voting for them — at least they seem to have some sort of vision for London’s future.
Charles Anderson

The Garden Bridge is a crossing London can do without. The location is quite unsuitable and very close to both Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges, which have adequate space for pedestrian use. Central London already has enough pedestrian crossings over the river.

If you look at the Norman Foster Bridge close to the Tate Modern, you can see just how much space will be required on both sides of the Thames for the access points. On the north side of the river there is very little space because the pavement is too narrow to take the supporting pillars. On the south side, a large number of trees will have to be cut down.

Yes, we do need another Thames crossing but the ideal location should be in east London, close to Barking, which could relieve the congestion on the Rotherhithe and Blackwall Tunnels as well as the Woolwich Ferry.
Chas Kenny

The idea that the Garden Bridge would offer a “green escape” is wrong, given that the cost of building it would mean destroying existing green space on the South Bank.

The “greenery” illustrations showing tall trees are figments of Helliwell’s imagination and for publicity purposes. The wilful expenditure of our money by Boris Johnson is unforgivable — Sadiq Khan must not add to this waste.
Tom Ball


Juncker's attitude is no real surprise

I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised at the lack of courtesy and bad manners displayed by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker following his recent meeting with Theresa May. The same sort of bullying and deceit was displayed during David Cameron’s attempts to negotiate with the EU; and characterised its treatment of Greece.

While I was a very reluctant Leave voter, every day I become more convinced we have made the right decision to leave what is essentially an undemocratic organisation which pays no heed to the needs of its people, only its self-serving elite.
Richard Robinson


Bring on the new metro mayors

Local elections don’t usually provide excitement but the “metro mayor” elections are different.

Sadiq Khan seems effective in projecting London’s voice, bringing dignity to the office after Boris Johnson. From Thursday, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Liverpool City Region, West of England, Tees Valley, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will have new metro mayors with the chance to lobby at Westminster.

Perhaps Khan could convene a cross-party forum, bringing these mayors together to argue for a sensible Brexit outcome?
John Gemmell


GTR determined to improve services

Govia Thameslink Railway has not made “nearly £100 million profit” [Letters, April 27]. We have made no profit because we are incurring additional costs tackling performance challenges and paying penalties related to our contract with the Department for Transport.

We know our service has not been good enough and we apologise for that. But we want to improve services, including working with Network Rail to deliver a £300 million investment in infrastructure and bring in more new trains. We want to give passengers the service they deserve.
Charles Horton, CEO, Govia Thameslink Railway

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Capital's air pollution crisis is here to stay

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempts to sort out the situation regarding London’s pollution are admirable [“The war against London’s killer pollution can be won”, Comment, May 2]. However, it is simply too late to eradicate this problem.

It is indeed possible to limit or reduce the effect of pollution by introducing electric vehicles, but that will take years and people will still drive petrol cars. Until everybody gets together to solve our capital’s air pollution problem, bad air will continue to devastate our city.
M Rowley

Bus drivers in major cities spend much of their working lives in polluted environments. This has a deleterious effect on their short-term and long-term health prospects.

Surely transport unions have a duty to track the health of drivers, demand changes in working practices to reduce the risks to their health and seek compensation for drivers who become ill as a result of exposure to air pollution?
Val Booker

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A privilege to watch Joshua v Klitschko

What a fight it was between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday. Here were two gentlemen of the ring, magnificently sculpted both in body and mind, evenly matched and with respect for one another.

Both warriors were knocked down and each was on the brink of defeat, yet they recovered. This display of courage was a classic for the ages and a most fitting testament to their skill, passion and dedication.

How often do we have the immense privilege to witness such a match? Joshua v Klitschko was an inspiration, exposing the noble heart of two champions in and out of the ring. Even some opponents of the sport of boxing may have been given good reason to reconsider their ardent views.

The $64 million question now is: will there be a rematch?
Gavin Littaur

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