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London borough defeats judicial review challenge over introduction of low traffic neighbourhoods

Hackney Council has successfully defended a judicial review claim over the decision of its Cabinet in September 2020 to adopt an emergency transport plan (ETP).

The claimant in HHRC Ltd v Hackney Borough Council [2021] EWHC 2440 (Admin) was particularly concerned about the proposals within the plan – entitled "Rebuilding a Green Hackney – Emergency Transport Plan: responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on the transport network" – to introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods ("LTNs") as one of the suite of alternative traffic management measures included within the ETP's proposals.

The claimant brought the claim on four grounds. The first was the contention that Hackney had failed to discharge its duty under section 16 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 in approving the ETP proposals.

Section 16 of the 2004 Act creates the network management duty, and it was contended that the defendant council failed to properly examine the impact of the ETP proposals upon the movement of traffic not simply on neighbourhood road networks, but also on the busier and more strategic highways surrounding the areas affected by the proposed LTNs.

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Allied to these considerations, was the contention (ground 3) that the approval of the ETP failed to properly investigate or have regard to the impact on air quality of the LTN proposals.

Ground 2 of the claimant's application was the submission that the defendant breached its public sector equality duty ("PSED") under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 by failing to have due regard in approving the ETP to the impact which its LTN proposals would have upon groups with protected characteristics.

Under ground 4, the claimant submitted that there was a failure to undertake any proper consultation on the ETP before it was promulgated in breach of the consultation requirements of the common law.

However, Mr Justice Dove said he was not satisfied that there was merit in the substance of the claim.

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