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Could London taxi drivers scupper Cycle Superhighway plans?

Licensed Taxi Drivers Association launches a judicial review on the E-W cycle route despite head saying in May delays could leave "blood on his hands"...

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) has launched a judicial review on London's East-West Cycle Superhighway despite its head saying earlier in the year he didn't want blood on his hands from a delay to the plans.

According to BBC journalist, Tom Edwards, the LTDA, which represents the interests of London's black cab drivers, claims the route needed planning permission. However, experts who support the plans say road alterations of this nature don't require planning permission. 

After the Association appeared to drop the issue in May, the timing appears strange, given the most contentious portion of the new Cycle Superhighway, which will run from Tower Hill to the Westway, is already being built on the Victoria Embankment, with some sections close to completion.

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The Association dropped earlier threats of a judicial review in May because its head, Steve McNamara, said he didn't want "blood on his hands" from a delay.

He said: “At the end of the day, does London need protected cycling? Yes it does.

“What we don’t want to do is issue a judicial review and all we achieve is delaying that by a year, and some cyclist gets killed in Parliament Square.

“I don’t want that. I don’t want blood on my hands.”

London Mayoral hopeful Christian Wolmar points out a significant part of the route has already been built.

This section, on the Victoria Embankment, which leads to Parliament Square, which is almost complete, was the most contentious part for both the LTDA and Canary Wharf Group, who both threatened the route's completion with legal challenges, while claiming it would bring motor traffic to a standstill.

There are scant other details at present, but has contacted the LTDA's head, Steve McNamara, who is at the LTDA's AGM today. We hope to have more details soon.

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