David Nowell says the garden bridge’s initial approval was undemocratic, Toby Wood wishes someone would throw Peterborough a crumb – and LJS Lesley and Jonathan Longstaff have alternative proposals for London

The proposed garden bridge across the Thames was bound to fail as soon as Zac Goldsmith lost to Sadiq Khan, given that the project never had the support of a majority of the 25-member London assembly (Recriminations fly after garden bridge cancelled, 15 August). The parties opposed to the scheme, with 16 members of the assembly between them, were one seat short of the two-thirds super majority required to stop Boris Johnson and George Osborne frittering the best part of £52m, which had the support of only nine Conservative members. Ultimately, the origins of this fiasco lies with the Blairite fixation with experimenting with directly elected local potentates, rather than properly constituted English regional assemblies and the single transferable vote for local elections.
David Nowell
New Barnet, Hertfordshire

• Peterborough Civic Society, along with the local newspaper and residents, has been campaigning for a new city centre cycle/footbridge across the city’s river Nene. Our city council has said that it cannot currently afford the £2.5m necessary for the project. This figure pales into insignificance when compared with the £37m of public money wasted on the now abandoned Thames garden bridge. I wonder if Joanna Lumley and chums could just check down the back of their sofas and, if any loose change turns up, please chuck it our way.
Toby Wood
Vice-chairman, Peterborough Civic Society

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