London

Mayfair resident challenges London bike hire scheme

Bikes for London's new rental scheme
Image caption About 6,000 bikes will be available when the scheme begins on 30 July

A man has asked the High Court to prevent one of the planned "docking stations" for London's bicycle rental scheme from being sited near his home.

Noel Carroll, 63, from Mayfair, central London, said Westminster Council failed to consider the environmental impact of the facility on South Audley Street.

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 docking station in South Audley Street is due to be installed next week.

It is located in a conservation area and is close to the Mayfair library and the Grosvenor Chapel, which is a Grade II*-listed building.

Area 'defaced'

Mr Carroll is asking for leave to appeal an initial decision to dismiss his legal challenge against the docking station.

Mr Carroll and other residents are concerned about additional noise and traffic congestion which they claim it will create.

And his representative in court, Sasha Blackmore, claimed council planners had failed to consider whether an environmental-impact assessment was needed.

"Our beautiful conservation area must not be defaced by this horrible lump of metal," Mr Carroll said.

"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 said it would not be commenting while the court case was continuing.

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