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APPEAL DEADLINE APPROACHES: TfL and Mayor to decide whether to appeal taxi access Streetspace ruling

Transport for London and the Mayor of London has until Wednesday 10 February to submit its appeal against a landmark High Court ruling slamming the capital’s Streetspace Plans as ‘unlawful’.

The deadline comes following a High Court outcome on 20 January which ruled the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) “acted unlawfully” in their treatment of licensed taxis, in the Streetspace for London Plan and associated Guidance and the A10 Bishopsgate Traffic Order.

The Court ordered that the Streetspace Plan, Interim Guidance to Boroughs and the A10 Bishopsgate Traffic Order be quashed, following the judgement.

In the case, heard at the High Court’s Planning Court on 25 and 26 November 2020, Senior High Court Judge, Mrs Justice Lang DBE found overwhelmingly for the Claimant taxi trade bodies, United Trade Action Group (UTAG) and the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA).

A spokesperson from UTAG wrote on social media saying: “Tomorrow is the deadline for TfL and the Mayor to appeal.

“After Justice Lang's comprehensive judgement they should focus on restoring access based on our special status and compliance with the PSED rather than using taxpayers money to appeal to justify the indefensible.”

A spokesperson from LTDA said on Tuesday: ”We should know by Wednesday if Mayor/TfL will waste even more public money appealing HC's Judgement following our decisive JR win.

“They should focus on fixing the problems instead! We've been discussing this with London Assembly members and asking them to hold Mayor/TfL to account.”

In the lengthy and detailed judgement, Mrs Justice Lang underlined a series of failings by TfL and the Mayor, describing their decision-making process as “seriously flawed”, with the decision to exclude taxis being based on “superficial” and “inadequate evidence”.

The Judge noted that denying taxis access to London’s roads could have “severe consequences” for passengers who cannot walk, cycle, or use public transport and that “the needs of people with protected characteristics, including the elderly or disabled”, were “not considered”, before the Plan was announced or the Guidance published.

Responding to the judgement on 20 January, a TfL spokesperson said: “We are disappointed with the court’s ruling and are seeking to appeal this judgment. Temporary Streetspace schemes are enabling safer essential journeys during this exceptionally challenging time and are vital to ensuring that increased car traffic does not threaten London’s recovery from coronavirus.

“We absolutely recognise the need for schemes such as our Bishopsgate corridor to work for the communities they serve and have worked hard to ensure that people across London, including those who use taxis, can continue to get to where they need to be. We also recognise the need for schemes to be delivered in a fair and consistent manner and have worked closely with the boroughs to create clear guidance for implementing schemes, updating this regularly to reflect what we have learnt. These schemes will stay in place pending our appeal."


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