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Pearce on track for legal action

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A London-based architect is set to seek a judicial review against transport chiefs for snubbing plans for a monorail system for the capital.

Gareth Pearce has been lobbying Transport for London (TfL) to back his proposals for up to 270km of track raised on stilts around London. However, TfL says it has evaluated the scheme and deemed it less crucial than other projects, such as Crossrail.

But Pearce said the driverless trains were technologically 'proven', would improve urban spaces and be cost effective.

Building MonoMetro, for example, would cost £4.5 million per km against £25 million for a tramline, he said.

Pearce added there was a statutory obligation for his proposals to be assessed and he had demanded to see any review work carried out by transport experts.

Pearce was also involved in a legal dispute in 2001, when he took Rem Koolhaas to the High Court, accusing the Pritzker Prize winner of plagiarising his 1986 plans for Docklands Town Hall and incorporating elements into the Kunsthal Art Gallery in Rotterdam.

And now he is set to take the legal option again in the dispute over MonoMetro.

'We have now requested a copy of [Transport for London's] assessment and if it can't come up with it we will seek a judicial review. It's the only way to go if TfL is not prepared to play by the rules, ' he told the AJ.

He claimed his scheme could take 20,000 passengers an hour and pick up people at maximum intervals of 54 seconds. The network would snake across the capital from Heathrow to the Lea Valley and be open by 2012, the year London hopes to host the Olympics.

'All we need is £20 million to put a line across Hyde Park and demonstrate it to Londoners for two years. By 2012 we could have a 270km network.'

But TfL insisted that it had not received a proper proposal.

'London carries around 10 million people a day on buses and underground trains and no major city in the world uses a monorail for mass transit, ' a spokesman said. 'We will deal with a judicial review as and when it's sought.'

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