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London Mayor to appeal High Court ruling that Streetspace policy was unlawful

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has asked the Court for Appeal to hear a challenge to a High Court ruling that his Streetspace policy and closure of part of Bishopsgate were unlawful.

The policies were designed to encourage walking and cycling but Mrs Justice Lang held that both the plan, and the street closure in the City of London, to most vehicles including taxis were unlawful and should be quashed.

A mayoral spokesperson said:  “We are very disappointed by the court’s decision and have applied for permission to appeal this judgment.

“Bishopsgate has long suffered with a poor safety record and slow bus speeds, and this trial scheme aimed to tackle these issues, by reducing road danger for vulnerable road users and improving the flow of bus traffic in response to the pandemic. 

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“Temporary schemes like this remain vital as the pandemic continues. By supporting both walking and the huge increase in cycling we are enabling social distancing and much faster journeys on public transport, reducing the risk of infection.”

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, which brought the High Court case, said: “It is no surprise that having already been denied permission to appeal by the High Court, the mayor and TfL are now seeking permission from the Court of Appeal. They are in effect appealing the judge’s decision not to let them appeal.”

He said the case had been won on four of five grounds argued and there were no clear grounds of appeal.

“Rather than wasting yet more taxpayer money, they should focus their efforts on fixing the problems the Judge identified and making sure London remains open and accessible to all,” he said.

Mark Smulian

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