Judge rejects legal challenge to London bike hire scheme

By BikeRadar | Tuesday, July 13, 2010 11.30am

The High Court has thrown out a bid to bring a legal challenge over London Mayor Boris Johnson’s flagship cycle hire scheme.

Mayfair resident Noel Carroll, 63, wanted permission to challenge Westminster City Council’s decision to allow Transport for London (TfL) to build one of the 400 new bike docking stations near his home.

Along with other locals, he accused the council of unlawfully failing to take into account the environmental damage the scheme would cause through increased noise, other disturbance and traffic congestion.

The 98ft-long (30m) station is planned for

South Audley Street
, which is in a conservation area containing several listed buildings, including a private club called Harry's Bar.

Deputy High Court Judge Michael Supperstone QC ruled yesterday that the grounds raised were “not arguable", and refused permission to apply for judicial review.

The court had heard that Mr Carroll was only seeking permission to challenge the legality of the docking station near his home, for which planning permission was granted in August 2009, and not the scheme as a whole.

Lawyers for Westminster and TfL argued that all the necessary information was taken into account when permission was granted and the decision was not open to legal challenge.

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After the ruling, Mr Carroll’s lawyer David Cooper said: “We are disappointed, surprised and considering an appeal to the Court of Appeal.”

Mr Carroll, who lives in nearby

South Street
, has said previously: "Our beautiful conservation area must not be defaced by this horrible lump of metal. It would bring down this very beautiful place. It would not be a very pretty sight."

A TfL spokeswoman said:  “TfL has worked closely with the London boroughs to identify the most suitable locations for cycle hire docking stations, with all applications subject to planning consent and including a period of consultation. Installation of the docking station will start shortly, as planned.”

Robert Davis, Westminster Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for built environment, said: “We have always aimed to strike a balance between making sure the Mayor’s bike hire stands are readily available in the best locations for users, with the least possible impact on local people."

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