Boris bikes in the dock: Transport for London lays cables in Wandsworth without planning permission
Transport for London (TfL) has come under fierce criticism after installing a “Boris Bike” junction box, before the proposal has gained planning permission.
More than 100 Battersea residents have attacked TfL over the installation in Lavender Gardens, even calling for the officer in charge to be fired over the issue.
Last year, TfL joined forces with Wandsworth Council to work out locations most suitable for 88 docking stations across the borough, as part of an expansion of the cycling scheme across the north of the borough.
Planning applications have been submitted to the council, but are yet to be officially ratified.
TfL has said they would not install the boxes before planning permission had been granted.
At one proposed locations in Lavender Gardens, Battersea, residents are furious an electronic junction box needed to power the locking mechanisms has been installed without planning consent.
They have also slammed the area chosen for the station, arguing it will encourage cyclists to ride the wrong way up a very busy one-way street, is dangerously close to a nursery and will replace six much-needed parking spaces.
Lavender Gardens resident Chris Locke said: “Residents are not against the Boris Bike scheme, far from it most support it, but they find it beyond belief that such a dangerous location has been chosen when there are so many safer locations nearby.
“A blind resident has said he feels he will be trapped in his flat as it will be too dangerous for him to step out of his gate which is next to the proposed bike station.”
One of the buildings potentially affected by the installation of the sites, The Shrubbery, is a listed building with historic Tudor foundations and the docking station would be right outside it.
Previously Wandsworth Council had incorrectly come under fire for spending £2m on the scheme, however the money comes directly from TfL and is ringfenced meaning it cannot be spent on anything else.
It was also criticised for an alleged bias because Roehampton, Balham and Tooting do not have a single proposed docking station.
The final decision on Lavender Gardens will be made on May 8 and if successful they are expected to be operational by spring 2014.
Nick Aldworth, general manager of Barclays Cycle Hire, said: “In order to ensure works are completed with the minimum disruption, and as swiftly as possible, we are working with UK Power Network to install power supplies at a number of those locations.
“This work does not mean that a docking station will definitely be installed there and we will remove the power supply if planning permission is refused.”
A council spokesman said: “All of the issues raised by local residents will be carefully considered before a decision is made on TfL's planning application.”
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