Cab drivers lose High Court challenge over east-west Cycle Superhighway

The LTDA argued the cycle superhighway was being constructed without planning permission, but the High Court rejected the challenge

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) have lost their High Court challenge, removing the last remaining obstacle to completion of the scheme.

Two separate cycle lanes between Tower Gateway and Ladbroke Grove are planned to help promote cycling in the capital.

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The LTDA, which argued that the £47m east-west Cycle Superhighway was being constructed without planning permission, said the lanes would cause disruption and asked the court to declare that construction without planning permission constituted “a breach of planning control.”

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Transport for London (TfL) argued that the lanes were “works of improvement” and as such did not require planning permission.

But while Mrs Justice Patterson ruled that planning permission was not required for phase one of the scheme, she left the door open to further legal challenges, saying permission may be necessary for other Cycle Superhighways, or for parts of them, in the future.

“That is not to say that it [planning permission] may not be required for certain minor works within the scheme,” Mrs Justice Patterson said, “or that it may not be required for other cycle superhighways or for parts of them in the future. Each scheme will need to be judged on its own facts.”

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Leon Daniels, managing director of TfL Surface Transport, told the Evening Standard: “The court agreed with us that planning permission was not required for the construction of the route to date, and dismissed all aspects of the LTDA’s claim.

“Construction continues to progress well and we are working hard to manage areas of temporary congestion around the construction sites. This Cycle Superhighway will make London’s roads safer for all and encourage a more efficient use of the road space.”

Andrew Gilligan, Boris Johnson’s cycling commissioner, said: “Once again, the courts have in the clearest terms upheld our right to improve London for cycling. This is the third legal challenge to TfL-funded cycle schemes to have been dismissed in the last few months.

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“It means we can now be confident of finishing the Embankment/Upper Thames Street superhighway on schedule in April, finishing the whole superhighway in summer, and ending the temporary delays that have occurred as a result of the construction works.”

LTDA general secretary Steve McNamara said: “We don’t actually disagree that there should be a scheme, but we want to get the right scheme for London. The one being built is not right for our 24-hour city. There is evidence that it is sucking the lifeblood of London, causing traffic jams, with hundreds stuck bumper to bumper, poisoning everybody else with pollution.”