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Hackney anti-LTN group fails to secure judicial review of emergency active travel measures

High Court judge says company opposing measures had six weeks to bring case, but failed to do so

Opponents of a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) in Hackney, the London borough with the highest levels of cycling, have had their application for a judicial review of recently introduced schemes refused by a High Court judge.

Mr Justice Kerr told the company that brought the action, Horrendous Hackney Road Closures Ltd (HHRC), that its application had been made too late, reports The Hackney Citizen.

In common with other boroughs across the capital, Hackney has used emergency active travel funding to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians – and as elsewhere, the initiatives it has brought in have been opposed by a small but vocal minority.

The judge said that any High Court challenge to the experimental traffic orders (ETOs) that bring in the LTNs into effect has to be lodged within six weeks, and since that deadline had been missed, the application for a judicial review failed.

HHRC had argued that the measures, designed to stop rat-running drivers from using residential streets, were “unlawful.”

The company claimed, among other things, that the new LTNs increased congestion on nearby main roads, and prevented ambulances from responding to emergencies in the areas within them, although research from Cycling UK has demonstrated that this is not the case.

The ETOs that the council has used to bring in the schemes means that they remain open for consultation for 18 months before any final measures are put in place.

A spokesperson for Hackney Council said: “We remain committed to engaging with all Hackney’s diverse residents and businesses on our plans to rebuild a greener Hackney in the wake of the pandemic, and are committed to our public sector equality duty.

“We would urge people to take part in the consultation at or by writing to us at ‘Freepost Streetscene’.

“We will consider residents’ comments, alongside traffic monitoring, before a decision is made on whether or not to make measures permanent.

“This is in line with direct guidance from the Department for Transport on reallocating road space during the pandemic.”

LTNs in Hackney – as in most of London’s 32 boroughs – are nothing new, indeed pretty much any post-World War 2 housing scheme in the capital has them.

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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