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Planning delays halt TfL’s plan to expand cycle hire scheme to Maida Vale

Cyclists disappointed as lobbying for new 'Boris Bike' docks fails to bring scheme to Maida Vale

02 December, 2016 — By Alina Polianskaya

Two petitions have been launched in recent years calling for a bike docking station in Maida Vale

A PLAN to extend the cycle hire scheme to Maida Vale for the first time has been put on ice – because of delays in getting planning permission.

In September campaigners were celebrating after Westminster Council waved through plans for two new Santander bike docking stations, one outside Dundee House.

But Transport for London has said the planning has taken too long and they had temporarily ditched the plans.

TfL’s general manager for Santander Cycles, Paul Cowperthwaite, said: “We applied for planning permission on these two locations as part of last year’s intensification and expansion programme, but due to the length of the process we eventually had to prioritise two other locations with existing permission. Those docking stations opened around six months ago.”

Westminster Cycling Campaign secretary Dominic Fee said it was a shame to lose out on the scheme this year, “particularly when so many people have put effort into lobbying for it”. Two petitions had been launched in recent years calling for the scheme to be expanded to Maida Vale.

Maida Vale councillor Jan Prendergast initially raised concerns, fearing the docking station would “blight” the “pleasant stretch of road”, as well as being a potentially dangerous spot for cyclists as they pulled in and out of the bike station. She welcomed the cycle hire scheme in principle, but wanted a more fitting location.

But Mr Fee added: “She [Cllr Prendergast] introduced this whacking great delay. It is a typical Nimby approach to say ‘we want it but not there, let’s look for the perfect site’ as of course there isn’t the perfect site. It had funding but due to the delay it’s lost it.”

But yesterday (Thursday) Cllr Prendergast said: “I don’t really understand the issues about my not being supportive of the Santander­ docking station in Maida Vale. I have actually been lobbying TfL for an extension of the scheme into Maida Vale for many, many, years and I was delighted to hear one would be coming to Maida Vale. I am fully supportive, as is the council, of the scheme being enlarged up to Maida Vale. Any comments that I’d raised came from representations from residents. I wanted it to go into the best possible place that would be safe.”

A council spokesman said: “We granted planning permission for this proposal on September 27, 2016, and it is disappointing that the scheme is no longer going ahead in this part of the city.”

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