‘We will continue to fight Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor’s efforts to overturn this important verdict’ says taxi driver General Secretary following news of the Bishopsgate road access appeal.
Last month TfL were granted the right to appeal against a High Court judgment which described the capital’s Streetspace Plan as “unlawful”.
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.
The landmark judgment followed a judicial review mounted by taxi trade bodies, United Trade Action Group (UTAG) and the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA). The review challenged the Mayor and TfL’s Plan, associated Guidance issued to London Boroughs and the Order concerning a specific Streetspace scheme, the A10 Bishopsgate Corridor in the City of London, which removed taxi access to a key arterial route.
The Court ordered that the Streetspace Plan, Interim Guidance to Boroughs and the A10 Bishopsgate Traffic Order to be quashed, however TfL have been handed the right to appeal the decision according to trade sources.
A TfL spokesperson told TaxiPoint last month: “We are aware of the decision to grant permission to appeal the Bishopsgate Judicial Review and we will now progress with preparing for our appeal.”
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said in TAXI Newspaper: “It is important to remember that the Mayor and TfL haven’t won anything here, they are just being allowed to appeal. It will now be down to them to make their case, which they didn’t do very well last time. Plus, we still have a strong case of our own. The Judge has asked that proceedings are expedited in view of the important issues at hand, but they said that last time, and it still took months to actually make it to court.
“Since I heard the Judge's order, I have had Winston Churchill’s voice playing in my head. I want to assure you that we will continue to fight TfL and the Mayor’s efforts to overturn this important verdict and any other damaging schemes, with everything we’ve got. We will fight them on the bus-only corridors, we will fight them on the banned turns, and we will fight them on the road closures.
“No doubt this will spur on some councils’ efforts to restrict our access, particularly those like Camden, who have never been willing to compromise. However, many other Boroughs have already seen sense. These councils have recognised the important role taxis play and factored us into their plans by removing barriers, switching to ANPR, and creating exemptions for taxis. I don’t think this will change, whatever happens with the appeal.”