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Court rejects challenge to cycle docking station

Mayfair man's challenge rejected by High Court ...

The High Court has rejected a bid to legally challenge London Mayor Boris Johnson's cycle hire scheme.

Mayfair resident Noel Carroll wanted to challenge the siting of one of the project's 400 bike docking stations near his home.

The station is planned for South Audley Street, which is in a conservation area containing several listed buildings. Mr Carroll, 63, and other Mayfair residents accused Westminster City Council of failing to take into account the environmental damage the scheme would cause through increased noise, other disturbance and traffic congestion.

But according to The Independent, Deputy High Court Judge Michael Supperstone QC ruled that the grounds raised were ‘not arguable’. He said, "None of the grounds put forward are arguable and permission to apply for judicial review is refused."

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

The court had heard that Mr Carroll was only seeking permission to challenge the legality of the docking station near him, and the case did not concern any other stations.

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

Mr Carroll 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."

The site on South Audley Street was granted planning consent by Westminster Council in August 2009.

A Transport for London 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.

"This particular site on South Audley Street was granted planning consent by Westminster Council in August 2009. Installation of the docking station will start shortly, as planned."

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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