Time to bounce back? How Londoners can save the "Bounceway"

 
Emma Haslett
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The trampoline will promote a sense of community, one of AFH's volunteers said today (Source: Architecture for Humanity)

The charity behind plans to install the world's longest open-air trampoline says the project can bounce back - but only with the support of Londoners.

Architecture for Humanity told City A.M. the project - which it hopes to install on Laud Street, in Vauxhall - could still become a reality, but only if there's enough support for it.

The "Bounceway" was originally conceived as a proposal to be funded under Transport for London's (TfL) £1.8m Future Streets Incubator scheme, designed to provide funding for experimental projects around London that "aim to encourage sustainable transport and create vibrant public spaces".

According to Architecture for Humanity volunteer Beth Worth, the incubator scheme was "TfL trying to do something creative, something out of the box".

Although the group hadn't reached a formal agreement with TfL, it was hoped it would stump up half of the cash needed for the project, amounting to about £75,000, while Architecture for Humanity would match the funding through cash it raised on SpaceHive, a crowdfunding platform for civic projects.


Laud Street in Vauxhall, the proposed site for the scheme (Source: Google Earth)

But the project was scuppered when politicians complained it was a waste of TfL's money. At a meeting of the London Assembly's Budget and Performance Committee last week, transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy, gave the plans the thumbs-down, despite protests from Mayor Boris Johnson that a "fatwah [has been] issued against the trampoline".

But Worth said the idea could still become a reality, if there is enough support from Londoners.

"We'd still like to see if there's an appetite among Londoners. If there are still enough people who say, 'I'll pledge a fiver, it'll keep going'."

TfL said today it still supported the project, saying that "we are confident it can be fully funded through crowd-sourcing or other channels".

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