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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.

> Blow for active travel in London as High Court judge rules Sadiq Khan’s Streetspace initiative unlawful

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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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