Sadiq Khan has this evening won his battle against London’s cabbies over the controversial “Streetspace” scheme.
The Court of Appeal has upheld the Mayor’s appeal against a High Court judgement which deemed that the programme, which is designed to encourage walking and cycling during the pandemic, was introduced unlawfully.
In his appeal, Khan argued that the scheme was a “vital” addition to London’s transport network during the pandemic, when people were instructed to avoid public transport.
The original case was brought by taxi trade body the LTDA. City A.M. has contacted the group for comment.
Making a statement this evening, the newly-reelected Mayor called the decision a “vindication” of the programme.
“Our world-leading “Streetspace” schemes are helping protect the health of Londoners, and this decision reinforces my determination to make it safer and easier for Londoners to walk and cycle, and to help ensure a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic”, he said.
“The Judges’ decision today, along with the vote from Londoners on 6 May, is a double mandate allowing us to continue with our bold measures. Our changes to Bishopsgate make it safer for people walking and cycling. This central London scheme is the centrepiece of the work we have done across the capital during my first term.”
The Streetspace plan was put in place last May in a bid to make more space on the roads for non-drivers during to the coronavirus pandemic.
It has seen the implementation of bus gates, banned turns and restricted access to streets in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across London.
In addition, the A10 Bishopsgate order saw only buses and cyclists now able to enter the thoroughfare between 7.00am and 7.00pm on weekdays, effectively excluding licensed taxis from using this key north-south route.
A spokesperson for the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) said:“We are extremely disappointed with this outcome. It is hard to see how such a convincing judgement from a senior High Court judge could be overturned in this way and we do not believe that justice has been served.
“The Court did grant us permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and we will now be discussing next steps with our legal team.”