Westminster City Council’s attempt to block TfL’s latest Cycle Superhighway has been slammed as “disgraceful”.
A source from within the Mayor’s Office accused the council of “petty political posturing”, after it lodged a legal challenge against Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11), planned to run from Swiss Cottage to the West End.
It comes quick on the heels of Westminster City Council’s decision to block the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, which mayor of London Sadiq Khan labelled as a “betrayal of million of Londoners”.
“The fact that Westminster Councillors are now trying to stop a new cycle route being built just weeks after pulling the plug on Oxford Street improvements, is disgraceful,” a source from inside the Mayor’s Office said.
“There is an urgent need for safer cycle routes into central London and there is an equally strong case for pedestrianising Oxford Street.
“The idea that Westminster Council think they can hold the rest of London to ransom is totally unacceptable.
“Both of these schemes have significant public support. They will make a real difference to making London’s streets safer and cleaner and they shouldn’t be held up by petty political posturing.”
TfL were informed last week that CS11 London Ltd have filed proceedings against TfL with the courts to claim for judicial review against TfL’s decision to approve construction of the Swiss Cottage section of Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11).
This is being led by Jessica Learmond-Criqui of LCS Practice, a long-time opponent of CS11.
Westminster Council have been named as an interested party on the grounds that TfL has produced a misleading assessment based on the assumed implementation of the full route, misleading assessment of benefits / costs, failure to consider the impact of displaced traffic and failure to have due regard to the equality act.
As well as being named in the initial legal challenge, Westminster City Council subsequently submitted their own claim for a judicial review.
A Westminster spokesperson said: “We have been in discussions over the last two years with TfL about residents’ concerns but, despite assurances, we have yet to receive any further information about the wider impacts of the scheme and how these may be mitigated.
“As TfL is starting to proceed with the Swiss Cottage section without our support for the scheme as a whole, we have been left with no choice but to back our residents and to legally challenge the scheme.”
Work was due to start on the cycle route next month.
Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here.