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Transport for London wins appeal over Streetspace active travel programme

Court of Appeal reverses decision from earlier this year that City Hall initiatives to promote cycling and walking were unlawful

Transport for London (TfL) has today won a Court of Appeal decision against a ruling from the High Court earlier this year that initiatives aimed at promoting active travel and making roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians were unlawful.

In January, High Court judge Mrs Justice Lang ruled that TfL’s Streetspace programme, designed to promote active travel after the coronavirus pandemic hit and aimed at given more space to cyclists and pedestrians, was unlawful.

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The action was originally brought by two organisations linked to members of the licensed cab trade, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association and the United Trade Action Group, which argued that the Streetspace programme, TfL guidance to boroughs on low traffic neighbourhoods, and the closure of Bishopsgate in the City of London were all unlawful.

The judge in the initial case said that the programme was “seriously flawed” and went “beyond what was reasonably required to meet the temporary challenges created by the pandemic.”

But she also invited TfL to “substantially” revise its plans ahead of any appeal, and said that even if that appeal were lost, more time could be granted before the quashing orders are issued.

TfL said that today’s judgment, together with the results of last month’s Mayoral election where Labour’s Sadiq Khan secured a second term despite Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, among others, making opposition to policies aimed at reducing motor traffic and promoting active travel a key part of its campaigns, was a vindication of its policies.

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Khan said that today’s decision, combined with the election result, “forms 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

“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 added.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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