High Court date set for disabled swimmer's challenge over ponds charges

Christina Efthimiou (left) has launched a legal challenge over swimming charges at Hampstead Heath

Christina Efthimiou believes the charges to swim at the ponds are unlawful - Credit: Christina Efthimiou/Polly Hancock

A date has been confirmed for a court hearing that will determine whether the charging regime for the bathing ponds discriminates against disabled people.   

A judicial review launched against the City of London Corporation (CoLC) by Christina Efthimiou, who is disabled, will be heard at the High Court between November 9-10.  

The case is listed for 1.5 days and its format – how people can access the hearing – has not yet been confirmed. That will depend on public health advice at the time. 

Ms Efthimiou, 59, from Camden, claims the City of London’s compulsory charging system at the bathing ponds, introduced last summer, disproportionately affects people with disabilities.  

But the CoLC previously said the Heath’s swimming facilities are “accessible to people of all abilities and backgrounds”. 

Non-concessionary swimming rates were recently increased in line with inflation at 1.3%, but the cost of a six-month pass for those eligible for a concession was increased by 21.5% and a 12-month concession pass by 15.1%.   

Ms Efthimiou is being supported in her legal challenge by the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association.