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Taxi drivers’ 20mph legal threat halted in Brighton


By Tim Ridgway

Taxi drivers have dropped their threat of a judicial review of 20mph speed limits – after council leaders said it will review its effectiveness.

Brighton and Hove City Council introduced the restrictions on more than 500 residential and shopping streets in the city centre on Monday.

However, cabbies were unhappy claiming they had not been consulted properly when the issue was discussed last year.

Despite issuing a letter warning they would consider taking the issue to the High Court, lawyers acting on behalf of the trade have now withdrawn the threat claiming to have won a number of concessions.

Those representing the taxi forum said they were committed to making sure the council reviewed the scheme within three months.

But last night council bosses said this would be “ongoing” from now.

Richard Schaverien, of Brighton-based QualitySolicitors Howlett Clarke, said the taxi trade was not against the limits on residential roads and “high risk areas”, like schools.

He said: “The city’s main taxi operators will now be far more involved in the implementation and monitoring of this scheme, about which they continue to have serious concerns such as increased journey times, fares, fuel emissions and driver safety at night.

“We also note the council’s intention to consult further with taxi operators and to ensure their voice is heard when a planned period of monitoring and review into the effectiveness of 20mph limits is carried out.”

The first phase of the 20mph limits stretches from Sackville Road in Hove to Freshfield Road in Brighton.

As part of a £1.5 million scheme, the local authority hopes to roll out the project to the rest of the city over the coming years.

Last Monday, The Argus reported taxi drivers’ claims that the papers had been served to the council.

However, lawyers at the local authority said this has not been the case.

Ian Davey, chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “I’m very pleased that the introduction of the 20 mph speed limit areas is progressing as planned and is making the city’s streets safer.

“I can confirm that proceedings with regard to a judicial review have not been issued and there have been no alterations to the initial roll out of the scheme.

“We carried out a robust consultation for this first phase and any future 20mph speed limit areas across the city will also involve a great deal of investigative work and consultation.”

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