Restaurant Owner leads legal battle against removal of West End parking spaces
Richard Caring a West End restauranter is leading a legal challenge against the planned removal of more than 1,000 parking spaces by Westminster council.
Mr Caring who owns many famous London restaurants including The Ivy, Sheekey and Le Caprice is applying to the High Court to prevent the council from converting approximately 200 streets from single yellow to double yellow lines on 9th January.
The move by Westminster council has been heavily criticized with many local business owners accusing the council of finding a ‘backdoor’ way to curb parking in the West End. It has been claimed that the changes will result in approximately 1,191 free out-of hours parking spaces being lost.
Mr Caring’s lawyers will argue that council did not carry out adequate consultation on the changes before making their decision and that claims of irresponsible parking on single yellow lines had leading to congestion were unproven.
The Shadow Minister for London Tessa Jowell supports the legal challenge and in a letter to the Evening Standard said: “It is outrageous that Westminster appears to be circumventing the legal judgment on its parking plans by converting single yellow lines around the West End into double yellows. Its original plans were almost universally condemned.”
However Lee Rowley, Westminster’s Cabinet Member for Transport defended the proposals and said: “These flimsy accusations are a joke. It would be more controversial if we didn’t make these changes given various groups, including disabled representatives and even the leader of the Labour Party in Westminster, have called for them in the past.”
“When the lives of disabled people and the elderly will be improved by these changes, it is nonsense to try to create controversy out of nothing.”