Thursday 13 January 2022
The Appellant challenges the order of Kerr J, dated 28 June 2021, by which her claim for judicial review and conjoined statutory applications were dismissed. Kerr J granted permission to appeal on the `public sector equality duty’ (PSED) ground.
This case concerns low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), which the Respondent created via `experimental traffic orders’ (ETOs) under s9 of the 1984 Act. The key decision to authorise LTNs/ETOs was made by a delegated decision of an office of the Council on 9 October 2020, exercising the Respondent’s statutory functions under the 1984 Act.
The Appellant contends that the Respondent: a) failed to comply with its PSED under s149 of the Equality Act by failing to have `due regard’ to the matters specified in that section and; b) failed to comply with its duty under s122 of the 1984 Act to have regard to, and balance, the matters in that section, including the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of traffic, and maintenance of reasonable access to premises.
The Applicant lives near the boundary of one of the LTNs, she is disabled and heavily reliant on car transport due to restricted mobility. The Applicant asserts she has suffered disproportionately from the introduction of LTNs within Lambeth, because the displacement of traffic from within the LTNs to the roads outside them leads to a build up of traffic outside them and consequently increased journey times, added stress and loss of quality of life. The Applicant filed an applied for judicial review and two statutory reviews (under paragraph 35 of Schedule 9 to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984).
The judicial review and conjoined statutory reviews were dismissed. Kerr J finding that there was enough consideration of equality objectives in the October 2020 report to qualify as due regard to the legislative goals in section 149 of the 2010 Act and that the report included, legitimately, consideration of the point that the same equality objectives would be looked at further, in much more detail and with a sharpened focus, at later stages in the statutory process. Kerr J concluded that it was acceptable in the specific facts of the case (the urgency due the pandemic), for the equality impact assessment to be conducted on a rolling basis.