Opposition Call for Clarity After Streetspace Legal Ruling

High Court judgement may have implications for borough transport schemes

Cllr Hanif Khan, Hounslow Borough's head of transport

Related links

School Streets Enforcement Suspended

Rapid Covid-19 Tests Now Available in Hounslow Borough

Appeal Made for Christmas FoodBox Donations

Winter Warmth Campaign Launched in the Borough

Hounslow Council Leader Survives No Confidence Vote

Local Area To Participate in E-Scooter Trials

Council's Street Trading Policy 'Undermines Local Businesses'

Sign up for email newsletters from BrentfordTW8.com, ChiswickW4.com

The Conservative opposition on Hounslow Council are calling for a statement to be issued immediately on the implications of a recent High Court judgement for local Streetspace measures.

This Wednesday (20 January) Justice Lang ordered that TfL’s Streetspace Plan and the associated Guidance be quashed after a case was presented to the High Court by the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA).

She concluded that that the justification for the measures imposed was "not evidence based" and was "mere conjecture, which was not a rational basis upon which to transform London's roads".

As well as quashing the restriction on black cabs accessing certain road in the City of London the judge ruled that TfL’s “Interim Guidance to Boroughs” on which many local Streetspace policies are based is illegal.

The measures proposed and implemented "far exceeded what was reasonably required to meet any temporary challenges created by the pandemic" such that "the decision-making processes …. were seriously flawed, and the decisions were not a rational response to the issues which arose as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic".

The judge ruled that no attempt to account for the distinct status of taxis as a form of public transport particularly with regard to their use by people with mobility issues. She stated that TfL’s Order, “falls to be judged in the context of the extent to which it impacts adversely on disabled and elderly people.”

Darren Rogers of Chiltern Law, who acted on behalf of the LTDA said, “This was a hard fought and complicated Judicial Review where the regulated took on the regulator and sets a precedent when authorities close roads without proper analysis and care. Untramelled discretion must be scrutinised and reviewed. Mrs Justice Lang’s judgement lays bare the unlawfulness of Streetspace as a plan and in practice.”

It is not clear how this ruling will impact the transport measures taken since the beginning of the pandemic by Hounslow Council which had a similar rationale to the City of London scheme. The Chief Executive of the borough has told opposition councillors that the judgement is being urgently reviewed. Opponents of the temporary scheme for Cycleway 9 claim the same arguments could be used against it because of the removal of bus lanes and the difficulty of accessing bus stop islands for the disabled.

Cllr Sam Hearn, Chair of the Traffic and Transport Committee of the Conservative Group said, “It is truly shocking that so much public funding and residents’ goodwill have been squandered by the heavy-handed and dictatorial approach adopted by the Council. Most residents are happy to support
measures that facilitate social distancing, reduce rush hour traffic in residential streets and improve air quality. What has soured public opinion has been the failure to carry out any meaningful form of consultation or to address legitimate concerns raised by residents and local businesses.

“Many other London boroughs have at least reversed the most unfair and irrational TfL funded schemes. But not Hounslow. They refuse to listen. They have continued to justify their actions based on flimsy assumptions that lack any credible supporting evidence.”

We have asked Hounslow Council for comment but are yet to receive a response.

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact info@neighbournet.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


January 23, 2021

Bookmark and Share