Sadiq Khan has today submitted an application to appeal against a High Court ruling that deemed his “Streetspace” plan illegal.
Last month the court ruled that Khan had “taken advantage” of the pandemic to push through “radical changes” to London’s streets.
Justice Lang said that the plan, which banned taxis from using bus lanes in order to ply for trade, treated London’s taxi drivers “unlawfully”.
At the time, Justice Lang prevented Khan from appealing the decision.
But City Hall today confirmed that Transport for London, backed by the Mayor, had now submitted papers in order to appeal the ruling.
A spokesperson for the Mayor told City A.M.: “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.
“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.”
Commenting on today’s application, Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) 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!”
“As the senior High Court judge, Justice Lang made clear in her decision denying their first application for leave to appeal, there are no clear grounds and little chance of success on appeal, particularly given how unequivocal the Judgement was in this case.
“Rather than wasting yet more tax payer money, they should focus their efforts on fixing the problems the Judge identified and making sure London remains open and accessible to all.
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.
The purpose of the scheme was to drive down use of public transport so there was space for essential workers to travel safely.
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.