Judicial Review of the cycle lane gets the go ahead

Image above: Cycleway 9, Chiswick High Rd; photograph Joanna Raikes

An application to take Hounslow Council’s decision to build the temporary cycle way through Chiswick High Rd to Judicial Review has been granted leave to proceed. The hearing will be on 21 June 2021.

OneChiswick, which started as a Facebook group and has since set up a website and a GoFundMe page, are challenging the council’s decision, claiming that Hounslow Council acted unlawfully when it approved Transport for London’s proposal to install this scheme and when making two traffic orders.

Cycleway 9, the segregated cycle track along Chiswick High Road, Heathfield Terrace and Wellesley Road, opened in December 2020. Cycleway 9 as it exists now is not the same as the original plan which was consulted on and agreed over a two year period. It is different in several respects, the main one being that it did not use areas of pavement for the cycle track. The whole width of the cycle way was taken from road space.

Image above: Cycleway 9, Chiswick High Rd; photograph Joanna Raikes

The High Court sat on Friday 12 February 2021, to make procedural directions regarding a legal challenge from OneChiswick Ltd. The Judge has decided that the final hearing will be in June 2021. OneChiswick welcomed ‘the progress made in regard to the claims against LBH in regard to Cycleway C9’.

They say: ‘Many thousand of people are suffering and will continue to suffer because of these initiatives’, (the measures Hounslow and TfL have brought in using Govt funding for Streetspace projects, including C9). So far they have raised £16,410 towards their goal of £20,000 to fund the Judicial Review, from 318 donors.

Hounslow Council say in the meantime, Cycleway 9 remains lawful.

‘Transport for London and Hounslow Council remain committed to making cycling easier, safer, and more appealing in Chiswick. Chiswick High Road is a serious casualty hotspot for cycling that required urgent action. With social distancing requirements still in place, including on public transport, there is a significant risk that congestion levels across London will rise if trips previously made by buses or trains are instead made by car.

‘To enable people who previously drove or used public transport to cycle, streets must be safe and well designed. We are listening to feedback and are continuing our review of what effect this temporary scheme and other Streetspace schemes are having on road users, residents, businesses and visitors’.

Ealing traffic schemes

The meeting at the High Court on Friday 12 February dealt with five London Boroughs in which Judicial Reviews had been mooted. In Ealing the claims were withdrawn in the light of new traffic orders.

In December 2020 LB Ealing decided to change the way they would regulate Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. As a result of the huge amount of protest from residents they decided to replace bollards with CCTV and signs, so instead of physically blocking roads, they will fine those tho contravene the traffic regulations.

Following their interim assessment, everywhere they’d put in bollards, they are now putting in ANPR (number plate recognition) cameras instead. This has necessitated the issue of new Emergency Traffic Orders.

The High Court meeting dealt with process – technicalities, not principles – so wasn’t about whether or not Low Traffic Neighbouthoods were a good idea. The applications for Judicial Review in Ealing had been agains the earlier Emergency Traffic Orders, which are now obsolete.

OneEaling has been crowdfunding to support legal action, as has OneChsiwick. What happens to the money which people have paid towards it, now that it is no longer needed? According to their website:

‘If for whatever reason court proceedings are halted, then all donations after legal fees have been reimbursed and any Crowdfunder fees applied, will be redistributed to you on your instruction’.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Cycleway 9 opens on Chiswick High Rd

See also: Residents group files for Judicial Review on Cycleway 9 installation

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