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Mayfair man challenges location of bike hire docking station

Legal challenge comes less than three weeks before London scheme is due to start

With less than three weeks to go before the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme starts in London, a Mayfair man has asked the High Court to prevent one of the planned docking stations from being sited near his home.

According to the BBC, Noel Carroll, 63, said Westminster Council failed to consider the environmental impact of the facility on South Audley Street – due to be installed next week. Transport for London said the site was granted planning consent last August.

About 400 of the docking stations are being positioned across London, with 6,000 bikes available for hire. People will be able to access the bikes in nine boroughs and several Royal Parks in central London from 30 July.

The South Audley Street docking station site is in a conservation area and is close to the Mayfair library and the Grosvenor Chapel, which is a Grade II listed building.

Mr Carroll and other residents are concerned about additional noise and traffic congestion it might create.

He said, "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."

Transport for London said it had "worked closely" with London's councils "to identify the most suitable locations for cycle-hire docking stations, with all applications subject to planning consent and including a period of consultation".

"The boroughs, as the planning authorities, make the final decision on whether to approve the locations."

Westminster Council told the BBC it would not comment while the court case was continuing.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 

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