A group of barristers and residents at the Inns of Court are to fight a Cycle Superhighway that they say will "create a strangle hold" on the Temple area of London.
Launching a planning dispute against the City of London Corporation, the powerful group say that bringing the Superhighway into the Blackfriars area via Tudor Street, New Bridge Street and Temple Avenue will cause havoc for businesses and residents - and perhaps more importantly, block some of the lucrative deals for filming by big productions like Harry Potter in the historic surrounds.
Campaigners are urging those who share their views to attend the Court of Common Council on Thursday to pressure the council to re-think the plans.
Gregory Jones QC, a common councilman for Farringdon Without who will be voting at today's meeting, told City A.M.: “The scheme is unnecessary and would threaten the Temple as an international film venue. Harry Potter, Mission Impossible and Silk have all been filmed here. This is just one aspect that is helping generate revenues for the City of London.”
Richard Snowdon, director of properties and surveyor at the Inner Temple, said: ”We have a variety of vehicles that pass by throughout the day. It is likely to cause total pandemonium out in the streets out here because all the streets will be narrow and the congestion will be greater. And it is likely to pose further costs – because larger vehicles are going to have to be replaced by smaller vehicles to come more frequently. It is a bit of a nightmare frankly.”
Baroness Butler-Sloss said: "We are in a process of being fenced in."
"With two road closures, they are creating a double problem for the Middle and Inner temple and we only have one entrance into the Temple which is in Tudor Street. Consequently we are absolutely hamstrung by what the City intends to do.”
The barristers intend to present an alternative Superhighway route.
Gregory Jones QC said: ”The Inns of Court are quite an accommodating body – so it is exceptional for us to ever have objected in this way. But it is cutting off our lifeline and the City is putting the Inns in a position where reluctantly they will have to take a robust line," he said.
According to the TfL designs and consultation documents, Tudor Street will be closed to traffic at one end to prevent through traffic emerging onto the Superhighway, which will run perpendicular on New Bridge Street.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.