Taxi & Private Hire | High Court Rules on Congestion Charge Exemption Removal

Today the High Court handed-down its judgement in the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) challenge against the congestion charge in London (R (Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain & Others v The Mayor of London & Transport for London [2019] EWHC 1997 (Admin)).

It follows a 2-day hearing, held from 10th – 11th July 2019, in which the court considered arguments that removing the exemption of private hire vehicles from the congestion charge contravened the Equality Act 2010 and European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).  Ultimately, at the base level, it was contended the decision (as contained within the Greater London (Central Zone) Congestion Charging (Variation) Order 2018) constituted unlawful discrimination.

Mr Justice Lewis, in giving his judgement, rejected this claim stating (at paragraph 124)-

The removal of the exemption from the congestion charge for private hire vehicles does not involve any discrimination within the meaning of…the [Equality Act 2010] as the defendant has shown that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, namely the reduction of traffic and congestion within the [congestion charge zone] without reducing the number of designated wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The amendments to the Scheme are compatible with, and involve no breach of…ECHR. For those reasons, this claim is dismissed.

The IWGB has already indicated, publicly, its intention to appeal.

 

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