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Taxi Emissions Judicial Review Struck Out

Charles Streeten

The High Court has struck out a claim for judicial review brought by the Bristol Blue Licensed Taxi Association against Bristol City Council's decision to introduce a new policy that imposes more stringent emissions standards on licensed vehicles. 

HHJ Bidder QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court, accepted the submission, advanced on behalf of Bristol City Council, that as an unincorporated association the Association had no legal capacity to bring the claim and struck it out on this basis.

As a precaution, he went on to consider the substantive merits of the claim and stated that he would have refused permission. He held that the Council's consultation exercise had been lawful and had complied with the Sedley Criteria, approved by the Supreme Court in R (Moseley) v London Borough Haringey [2014] 1 WLR 3947. The Council had noted the concerns of the Association and taken them into account but ultimately had reached its decision on the basis that  necessity of compliance with EU Directives relating to clean air and public health took priority over the interests of the Association and its members.

The decision provides a salient reminder that claims for judicial review not brought by an individual with legal capacity are liable to fall at the first hurdle.

Charles Streeten acted for the successful Defendant, Bristol City Council