‘Decisions about how to make the best use of London's roads are always going to be difficult’, says Mayor of London commenting on the Bishopsgate taxi access High Court ruling.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, went on to say it was important that new road schemes work for the communities they serve, including people who use taxis.
Khan’s comments follow Transport for London’s (TfL) right to appeal against a High Court judgment which described the capital’s Streetspace Plan as “unlawful”. The appeal is set to be heard on 15 June 2021.
The High Court originally ruled on 21 January that 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.
TaxiPoint asked the Mayor of London during a recent interview for TaxiPoint Monthly Magazine: “Why should taxi drivers have confidence in the regulators given that TfL are now taking legal action to ensure taxi access remains restricted in key areas? Can the relationship between the industry and regulator ever be repaired?”
Khan responded to TaxiPoint saying: “I actually think that if you look back over the last few years TfL has proven time and time again that it's a world class regulator and one that is not shy of taking difficult decisions. TfL rightly won global acclaim when they said they weren’t happy with Uber's safety arrangements – now Uber is only allowed to operate in London with a clear set of conditions that TfL closely monitors.
“In terms of the Bishopsgate ruling, decisions about how to make the best use of London's roads are always going to be difficult. Keeping Londoners safe is my number one priority, and the pandemic highlighted the pressing need to have safe walking and cycling routes to enable social distancing.
“I think it's important to remember that the decisions we take about the use of the road space are not about penalising one group of users over another. And I fully recognise how important it is for new road schemes to work for the communities they serve, including people who use taxis.
“But we cannot get away from the fact that more than 2,000 pedestrians and cyclists are killed or seriously injured on London's streets each year. We need to find a way of sharing road space that protects the most vulnerable as well as enabling other journeys to take place.”